Jennifer Ruddell

Wheelchair Basketball

Ruddell
  • 2004
  • 2008

Jennifer Ruddell has established herself as one of the top women's wheelchair basketball players in the world and she has experienced no shortage of team success along the way. She helped lead the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2007 Parapan American Games and was also part of the team that won gold at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. In 2008, Ruddell was co-captain of Team USA as they won the gold medal for the second consecutive Paralympic Games.

As a member of the University of Illinois Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, she competed in five consecutive national championship games (2002-2006) and won four titles (2002-2004, 2006). Ruddell played a key role in all five playoff runs and was named first team All-Tournament in four of those seasons. Off the court in Champaign, she earned her Ph.D. in sports management with an emphasis on disability sport.

Ruddell works full-time as an Assistant Professor of Sport Management of Online Education at Shorter College (Rome, Ga.). Prior to her move, Ruddell lived in Champaign, Ill., where she was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois' Recreation, Sport, and Tourism Department and a part-time faculty member at Parkland College in the area of kinesiology.

Ruddell and her husband, Ben, recently welcomed their first child, a son, Isaac.

Major Achievements:

  • 2008: Gold medal, U.S. Paralympic Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team – Paralympic Games, Beijing, China
  • 2008: First place - North American Cup, Birmingham, Alabama 
  • 2008: First place - Joseph F. Lyttle World Basketball Challenge, Warm Springs, Georgia 
  • 2007: Gold medal - Parapan American Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2006: Silver medal - IWBF Gold Cup (World Championships), Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
  • 2006: Finalist for Women's Sports Foundation's "Sportswoman of the Year" Award
  • 2004: Gold medal - Paralympic Games, Athens, Greece
  • 2004: University of Illinois Student Athlete of the Year
  • 2004: Women's Wheelchair Basketball National Tournament MVP
  • 2002: Silver medal, Tournament MVP - IWBF Gold Cup, Kitakyushu, Japan
  • Four-time national champion (2002-04, 2006) - University of Illinois Women's Wheelchair Basketball team