Karli Rucker has left her mark on every team she’s played on from the North Scott Lancers to the UNI Panthers. Born and Raised in the Quad Cities Karli was just excited to come back home and play some basketball.
“It’s awesome, I look forward to coming back every single year. The year before I came or two years before I came I got to go watch and I am really glad they got to resign to have it there for multiple years to come. Because we love it as a team we like it there from cedar falls to road trip there and it’s awesome to be back home” said Rucker
Karli’s parents Dena and Paul Rucker were happy to see their Daughter play in the TaxSlayer Center a year after basketball was taken away from them.
“Last year at this time they were on the court just doing a shoot around and that’s when they found out that the tournament was canceled. So, we are hopeful this whole year that the tournament got to happen and feel very blessed that so far they’ve been able to play as many games as they can” said Dena Rucker, Karli’s Mother.
“We are really glad they are host to the Quad Cities so we are close to home, but on the downer side of it we have a ton of family around here that would love to be at it in person and they don’t get to have that opportunity. but as a family it’s awesome we get to be this close” said Paul Rucker, Karli’s father.
Karli Rucker is a senior guard for the UNI Panthers, and this season she is having the best year of her career. But when the NCAA granted winter sports athletes another year of eligibility, Karli knew she couldn’t pass up another chance to play basketball.
“The staff here and my teammates just mean the world to me honestly and each year we just grow closer and closer and like you said I am really excited about the opportunity to come back for another year. Senior year this year I looked at coach and said I am glad that it wasn’t actually my Senior night because I wasn’t ready for it yet” said Rucker.
Rucker is an elementary education major so coming into the fall the plan is for her to student teach and finish up the second 8 weeks in the spring. This season Rucker is averaging almost 14 points per game and she wants to keep inspiring girls that they can do anything.
“Just for people, just for someone to look up too. If you look at me you probably don’t think that I can go out on the court and score some points. dish some baskets up but just knowing that you can. Just for little girls to look up to me or to anybody just knowing that they can do anything that they put their mind too” said Rucker.
Karli Rucker is currently 8th all time in UNI scoring and with her coming back next year we can only expect her to move up in those rankings.