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By: Rachel Henderson

Champion Ruth Riley Joins the Nothing But Nets Ranks

June 8, 2017
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WNBA star Ruth Riley can add yet another title to her already impressive career roster. Ruth is joining the ranks of Nothing But Nets! Ruth has been a Champion since our launch in 2006, but now she’s collaborating with our team behind the scenes to help make the Team Bzzzkill experience even more exciting.

Last week, Ruth was in our Washington, D.C. office to meet with the campaign and I sat down with her to get some scoop for our loyal blog readers. Here’s what we talked about:

Rachel Henderson: Tell us a little about your role with Nothing But Nets for the next few months.

Ruth: Since the launch in 2006, I have loved every aspect of being a Champion for Nothing But Nets. My experiences from the net distribution trips to Nigeria, Angola, and Mali brought me literally face to face with the devastating effects of malaria. Upon my return I have been passionate about bringing to life the stories of the people I met and doing what I can to make sure that no more children have to die from this completely preventable disease! From delivering nets, to creating awareness with everyone from our sports fans to faith based organization, to advocating on the Hill, I have embraced all the different roles I could play.

The next few months I have the opportunity to expand on my existing role and help develop a new, grassroots identity for the Nothing But Nets campaign, called Team Bzzzkill.  I am excited to create opportunities to help increase the participation of everyone from sports leagues to the NBA/WNBA.  It will be a platform to equip and inspire people to use their individual passions to help raise money, awareness, and advocate just like I have these past seven years.

Rachel: Seven years is such a long time! What’s your favorite Nothing But Nets moment?

Ruth: My favorite moment was the first time I physically handed a net to a young mother with a child on her arm and wrapped to her back.  We had just finished visiting some of the local clinics where I was deeply impacted by the sights of children literally dying right before my eyes from malaria.  From there, we went to various distribution sites, and it was powerful for me to see the appreciation of the mothers we met as we handed them a net.  The realization of the magnitude of the need coupled with the gratitude of the provision gave me a completely new perspective on what $10 can do in the world. 

Rachel: What have you loved the most about being a Nothing But Nets Champion?

Ruth: I get to merge a lot of my passions together.  I get to use the platform of a sport that I love to engage with different groups of people, and unite these groups together and bring a life-saving resource to many grateful families.  It is a humbling, emotional, and life-changing experience!!

Rachel: Stephen Curry has his mean three-pointer – what’s your signature basketball move?

Ruth: I only wish I could shoot like Stephen!!! My strength at this point in my career is probably a face up 15-17 foot jumper.

Rachel: What’s one thing Team Bzzzkill probably doesn’t know about you?

Ruth: Team Bzzzkill does not know that I had to choose between playing volleyball collegiately or basketball – looks like I made the right choice!

Rachel: Yes, yes you did.

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