Scott should serve as an inspiration to all young players who are late bloomers to believe in yourself and continue to work hard so that when opportunity knocks you will be prepared to take advantage and make the most of it.
As a coach who has been associated with hundreds of Brossart players over the years, I am probably happiest for Scott Ruth. Scotty is a survivor. As a freshman he could have easily passed for a sixth grader. During tryouts he didn’t make many mistakes, was very attentive and laughed at my stories, and since the talent pool wasn’t tremendously deep that year, we kept him on the Freshmen team.
We did drills which required shouting the word DEFENSE!!!. I actually had to tell Scotty to put some bass in his voice so as to sound more mature and intimidating. For the first half of his freshman season Scott occupied a seat at the far end of the bench and was relegated to deep mop-up duty.
One night after a road game in Louisville, I drove Scott home. On the way he asked me the inevitable question about what he needed to do to get some playing time. I spent the best part of the next hour telling him that this was a man’s game, elaborating that his minute size and stature were a hindrance and I wished I could let him play in some grade school games for experience etc, etc, etc.. All during my dissertation he didn’t say a word. When we pulled into his driveway he looked me square in the eye and said something that I will take to the grave, He said “COACH, I CAN DO IT!”
It was at about the same time that our starting point guard had come out on the short end in some fisticuffs with his brother and couldn’t play in our game at NCC. After trying several combinations at guard and remembering Scott Ruth’s parting shot, inserted the little guy into the lineup. He handled the ball with precision, made good decisions, and knew when to take a high percentage shot. The team jelled with him immediately and became a better team. From that night on HE EARNED A STARTING POSITION AND NEVER, EVER GAVE IT UP.
Since that day, I’ve always believed in him. When Coach Schlarman became head coach, Scott was a sophomore and had to dodge another career threatening bullet. Scotty was still very small for a sophomore and Coach Schlarman was skeptical of his ability to develop into a contributing member of the varsity squad someday. Once again, fate intervened. A player ahead of Scott on the depth chart defected and Scott once again stepped in to fill a void…and the rest is history.
Coach Schlarman and I note to this very day, that during his sophomore season, Scott was on the video-camera the night that Nathan Seiter buried a shot from near half-court to beat Covington Catholic and start our program on the road to success in the big time.
When Scott Ruth was named to the 38th District All-Tournament Team in his senior season, it was the first time he had ever been named All-anything. Less than two weeks later, Scott scored sixteen points in the second half of our State Tournament game with Graves County, spearheading a Mustang rally and come from behind victory. For his efforts, Scott was honored as our MVP. What a fitting, climatic ending to a storybook career.
I was very proud of the young man that Scotty Ruth had become as I stood and watched him field questions from the media of the state at the winner’s press conference after leading us to victory over Graves County. From bench-sitter, to video-taper, to Rupp Arena heroics…
Scott Ruth has always made his own breaks and doesn’t depend on help from anyone else. Who are you if you don’t believe in yourself? Scott Ruth has always believed in himself. This climatic finish to a great career couldn’t have happened to a more deserving young man. Had I ever had a son, I would be very proud if he turned out just like Scott Ruth.
Every day when I glance at the 2000 Team Picture which hangs above our locker room in tribute to the accomplishments of those young men, I always seek out Scott Ruth peering out over our practice/game floor and hope that he and the others are pleased with the product on the floor and the manner in which they are striving to continue the legacy begun in 2000. Scott is presently married and the proud papa of three young sons.
Scott Ruth’s story is a success story…he just wouldn’t let it be anything else.