published Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Hamilton Heights senior Ruta Savickaite commits to Western Kentucky University

Hamilton Heights senior Ruta Savickaite recently committed to continue her basketball career at Western Kentucky University.

The 6-foot-4 Savickaite (pronounced Sa-Vi-Skate-Ah) enrolled at the Hamilton Heights in January and averaged 5.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game for the Lady Hawks, who won the National Association of Christian Athletics championship last season.

"I loved the campus and the coach was real nice," Savickaite said of the Bowling Green school. "I really liked the atmosphere. A lot of the coaches there are new, and it's exciting to be a part of a new program.

"I still need to get better to play at the college level, but I want to get better."

She also thanked Hamilton Heights headmaster Duke Stone, who helped Savickaite fit in with the team upon her midseason arrival and aided in her recruiting.

Savickaite produced more as she adjusted to a new style of play. She averaged 7.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 steals in her final nine games, with three double-digit scoring performances.

Lady Hawk coach Keisha Hunt has nicknamed her "Ruta Balboa" because of the senior's physical nature on the court.

"She can take anybody down under and score," Hunt said. "She really bruises people up, but she's very physical and very strong. She's tall and sometimes other teams get intimidated, but she has the skills to back it up.

"We're going to miss her next year."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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