Quinnipiac University student athlete Helen Ridley scores not only on the court but in the classroom as well. Ridley, 21, a junior, has played for Quinnipiac’s women’s basketball team since she was a freshman on a full scholarship.
As the slender, five-foot-ten guard sat in her dorm room, she talked about how playing basketball has shaped the person that she is today.
“Basketball has been a positive influence in my life for as long as I can remember,” she said.
Ridley was born to James and Anne Ridley on Nov. 1, 1982. The dark-haired young woman has been playing basketball since middle school.
“My older brothers played, so I just followed along,” she said.
She played varsity basketball all four years at Lynn Classical in her hometown, Lynn, Mass., where she scored over 1,000 points. She was a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic pick and team captain for two years.
When asked who her role models were, Ridley said, “My parents are my role models. They are my biggest supporters and my number one fans.”
She also admires basketball great Michael Jordan for his dedication.
One of Ridley’s favorite aspects about playing basketball at Quinnipiac is her teammates.
“Helen is very dedicated and always pushes herself to be better with basketball and in life,” fellow teammate Jamie Harrington said.
Ridley feels she has accomplished more in college than a normal student. She also likes feeling a sense of pride for being part of a team.
Ridley made it clear that being a student athlete has its pros and cons. She described her busy schedule and said it is difficult to balance practice and school. Ridley said she is often tired and does not have any free time. On the other hand, she remembers the positive things that come along with the busyness.
“I have met good friends and still get to play basketball. I’d get bored if I wasn’t playing,” Ridley said.
In the future, Ridley thinks she would eventually like to get into coaching. In addition, Ridley would like to have the opportunity to play overseas, but does not know if that is possible.
Ridley majors in public relations and maintains a GPA of 3.0. In addition to basketball, she is involved in Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and CAP.
As a member of CAP, or Community Action Project, Ridley was involved in a Halloween activity for underprivileged kids.
“I like helping out the community. It feels good to give back,” she said.