Ruoff's Signing "A Celebration"

Alex Ruoff's letter of intent signing turned into a celebration for the friends and family members in attendance.

"It was just awesome," said Alex's mother, Kimberly Ruoff, of the event, which took place at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon at Central High School. "I was there, Alex's grandparents were there, Coach John Sedlak and Coach Spivey, and even his middle school coach Danny Garafano, and of course his principal. It was very moving and special."

Those aren't terms that often apply to something as seemingly as mundane as confirming a verbal commitment and pledging yourself to a school, but to Kimberly Ruoff, the day was a celebration of a lifetime of dreams, hard work, and commitment.

"Everyone at the ceremony had some comments, and it was really emotional," Ruoff said. "Alex is the youngest of our three children, and he has had this passion for basketball from a very young age. He played on a traveling team in the fourth and fifth grade, and he has always had a focus and determination to make this happen.

"His middle school coach was talking about that today, and he remembered him saying in the seventh grade, ‘Someday you will see me on TV playing basketball.' And now here we are!"

Kimberly Ruoff isn't counting any chickens before they've hatched, however. She knows that Alex has a great deal of work to do before he dons the Gold and Blue and begins facing off with college basketball titans such as Louisville, UConn and Syracuse. However, she's undeniably proud of what her son has accomplished.

"If Alex hadn't kept his focus and worked hard, it would just have been a wish," she said of his dreams to play basketball at the highest level of Division 1. "Alex is going to come up and be an even better player than what he was while he was being recruited. He really blossomed over the summer."

Lest you think that's just a mother talking, consider that the Ruoffs are self-described basketball addicts.

"We are big basketball fans," Kimberly Ruoff said. "We don't do much during basketball season other than watch games. And I just signed up for a digital package that will let me watch about 20 of West Virginia's games this year."

That act, if nothing else, should signify the fact that the Ruoffs are as much about the team as the individual. Kimberly said her son feels "like he already has one foot out the door," because of all the excitement surrounding his commitment to the WVU program.

"We are just all Mountaineers now, and it's amazing how fast that has happened," she exclaimed. "Next I'll be pricing flights and a big screen TV."

After all the commotion settled down, Ruoff was right back to work with his Central High School team, which has commenced practice. He did enjoy a private reception with his teammates and coaches before drills began, but once that was concluded he and his teammates were on the floor preparing for his upcoming senior season. As Alex told his mother "there's still a lot of work to be done."

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