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Wanna go for a ride?
Times file photo Brodhead senior Kristen Ruchti, shown in the background, center, rallies her squad during a game against Big Foot last season. Ruchti accepted a full scholarship to play hoops at Division-II UW-Parkside on Tuesday.
BRODHEAD - Kristen Ruchti officially has one enormous weight off her back as she enters a promising senior year.

On Tuesday, the 6-foot multisport star of Brodhead athletics accepted a full scholarship to attend UW-Parkside and play hoops in the 2009-2010 season.

"I took a tour of the campus and loved it," Ruchti said. "I felt like I connected very well and was relieved that I made a good decision."

Ruchti connected with two of her most integral future influences. First, she felt right at home with the head of the physical therapy department, the field in which she plans to major.

More importantly, she connected with women's basketball coach Jenny Knight, and quickly showed her skipper-to-be some immense modesty when Knight offered the full ride.

"I was in shock at first and I asked her, 'Are you sure?'" Ruchti said. "And she just said, 'Yes, you fit our system and we're excited to have you.'"

A prep post with a smooth shot and surprising handles, Ruchti receives up to five years of paid tuition, as well as room and board for four years.

Ruchti also garnered great interest from Detroit Mercy, and would have likely run into Kimee Chandler, her teammate on a prolific Wisconsin Hoops Select 16U summer team. Chandler will attend UW-Milwaukee. Both the Panthers and Titans compete in the Horizon League.

Ruchti went with Division-II Parkside, as she admits playing time factored heavily into her decision.

"At a Division-I school, I would probably red shirt my first year," Ruchti said. "The Division-II players will be smaller, and I can get more playing time right away."