Athlete of the Week: Athleticism lands Rancho Bernardo High’s Rudkin scholarship to Syracuse
By Michael Bower
Kathy Rudkin has been playing basketball since she was in the second grade.
Over the years, she would develop quick feet, speed, endurance and agility. She plays point guard, which demands excellent vision, unselfishness and leadership skills.
Turns out, all those attributes make quite a lacrosse player.
Rudkin, a junior at Rancho Bernardo High, has used many of her basketball skills to become one of the top high school lacrosse players in the county. The athletic midfielder started playing the sport seriously in the eighth grade and has excelled at a tremendous rate.
“I think basketball has helped me a ton with lacrosse,” said Rudkin, 16. “The way I play defense in lacrosse is very similar to the way I play defense in basketball. People always tell me my footwork is different and I think it is because of basketball.”
Her athleticism as a sophomore was so impressive that Syracuse University, home of the second-ranked women’s lacrosse program in the nation last season, extended a scholarship offer to Rudkin in July. She happily accepted.
“It was unbelievable,” said Rudkin, who was born in Maryland and briefly played lacrosse in the second grade before moving to San Diego and not picking up the game again until the eighth grade. “I am so excited to go there and not only represent my family, coaches, friends and myself, but also West Coast lacrosse. I am excited to give it more of a name.”
Syracuse was not the only school knocking on the door for Rudkin. Stanford and Maryland were also interested. Rudkin visited all three schools before deciding Syracuse was the place she would like to call home in 2014.
“I just fell in love with the school and the coaching staff,” she said. “I knew it was the right fit for me.”
Rudkin has starred in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse — all at the varsity level — during her first two years at Rancho Bernardo. Rudkin, who said she carries near a 4.0 GPA, always figured basketball would be the sport she would play in college. But the success of the Broncos’ lacrosse team during her freshman year changed that.
“We were very talented that year,” recalled Rudkin. “We made it to the CIF finals and there were girls on the team I really looked up to. That is when I started to love the game. I started thinking I wanted to play lacrosse instead of hoops in college.”
Rudkin just finished playing the summer season for the SD Sharkz elite lacrosse team. She helped lead the team to the Starz Cup title on Saturday at Bernardo Heights Middle School, scoring a goal in the championship game.
For her efforts, she is the I-15 Voices Athlete of the Week.
“It was really exciting for our team to win the tournament,” Rudkin said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Rudkin is currently preparing for another full year of sports, starting with field hockey in the fall, basketball in the winter and then lacrosse in the spring. She will also play lacrosse for her club team in the winter.
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