It is not everyday that you hear the story of an accomplished Fencer, making the transition to becoming a high level basketball player.
Yeah, that’s right, Fencing! The sport with the white suits, masks and long swords!
But, that is precisely the story of Ruth Tshikudi Tshila (pronounced chee-coo-dee chill-a) of Vanier College in Montreal, QC, who had decided to put down her swords in order to follow her basketball dream.
“Yes, I used to Fence,” said 6-foot Forward, Tshikudi Tshila, “I competed in many tournaments, even in the Quebec Championships, but I had given that all up for basketball.”
The more one takes in her style of play on the court, the skills that she developed as a swordswoman becomes apparent. Ruth’s style of play is one that likes to attack from the perimeter where she uses good footwork on her way to the rim. Her athleticism and long limbs makes her tough to defend when she gets a full head of steam behind her. And of course patience when choosing the right to time to attack are all skills that immediately come to mind from her style of play.
But, it’s basketball that this former St Maxime high school student, who also played her rep ball with Express Du Nord, has fallen in love with.
“Basketball is life!”, she said jokingly.
That statement might have came out a bit cliche and in a tone that made it seem like she was just playing around. But, when she broke it down further, that statement was not that far off from how she really feels.
“I might say that jokingly, but basketball takes up a big place in my life. And, it is something that I truly appreciate doing.”
Tshikudi Tshila may be flying a bit under the radar. Having only attended the Lone Wolfe Shootout in Vermont with her Vanier Cheetahs in each of the past two summers, her U.S. exposure has been somewhat limited. Her hope however is that it won’t hinder her from connecting with an NCAA school where she can get a quality education and play some meaningful ball.
“My sister is always bugging me to put my schooling first. So, that is important to me”, says the aspiring Health Sciences Major who has hopes of becoming an Athletic Therapist. “My priority is education first before basketball.”
“If I can get to a school that is good, that also has a good team, that would be ideal.”
Coming from a Fencing world where being ‘pinpointed’ is not ideal, being the bullseye target from an ideal University is exactly what this promising recruit is hoping for.