Ring who spent the last four years with the Ottawa Gee-Gees, will be a welcome addition to the 2016-17 Rams roster, who will be without the services of their three departing fifth-year seniors: Siki Jez (Kitchener, ON), Mariah Nunes (Ajax, ON), and the CIS Player of the Year, Keneca Pingue-Giles (Winnipeg, MB).
“If you add a fifth year transfer, you want it to be someone exactly like her,” said Ryerson head coach Carly Clarke. “She is is hardworking, self-driven, puts the team first, and she will help build [our] culture even further.”
Ring was quick to repay her new coach's kind words with some of her own.
“The more I talk to Carly, the more I notice how down to earth she is. She is very easy to talk to and willing to push me outside my comfort zone,” Kellie said when asked about Clarke. “There will be a learning curve for me because the styles of coaching are drastically different compared to Coach Sparks at uOttawa, but I am very excited to play for [Carly] and I think that we will work great together.”
Ring will be enrolled in the Master’s of Digital Media program at the Yeates School of Graduate Studies.
“My decision to come to Ryerson was mostly academic [but] it helped that the basketball program is very good and that [the university] is in Toronto,” said Ring of her decision. “It was tough, but I knew it was the right fit academically. It was the only other choice for me, other than staying at Ottawa.”
Ottawa and Ryerson know each other well in OUA basketball, and the memories of competing against each other remain fresh in Ring's mind.
“One thing I always remember from playing the Rams is that they worked really hard and always were continually improving year by year,” she reflected. “That was something I took into account when making my decision [to sign].
Aside from her five years of experience playing with the Gee-Gees, Kellie also brings experience from the national program with Canada Basketball, where she was apart of various teams including playing on the U-16 through U-19 teams, the national development team, and the 2011 Pan-American Games squad.
Ring's newest backcourt partner, and starting point guard, Cara Tiemens (Newmarket, ON) remembers playing against Kellie in her first two seasons in the OUA. "I remember her being very versatile; it almost seemed like she could play the one through five positions," Tiemens recalled. "I also remember her directing traffic on the court and being vocal with her teammates."
While Tiemens is relieved that she no longer has to guard Ring, she's also looking forward to learning from her. "I think that she can help with my development as a point guard because she is an older guard and can teach me things that I haven’t learned or picked up yet," she said.
Tiemens also believes the addition of Ring will make the Rams' backcourt more dynamic. "I think that having her and I [in the backcourt] will help our team be more dynamic on offence because that way we can both bring up the ball and get the offence [started]," Tiemens said. "It will also relieve some of the pressure off of me if the other team is double teaming, trapping, or doing a full court press."
“She’s great at moving the ball and she’s willing to do so, and I think that’s something we fed off of this past season,” added Clarke. “She’s dynamic at breaking people down and finding gaps and open teammates. I think everyone will benefit off of that skill set.”
Ring will be eligible to suit up this season for the Rams as the OUA permits athletes attending a different school to pursue their master's degree to play, without having to sit out a year as other transferring athletes would.
“One thing I'll always bring to any team I am a part of is my commitment to the team and being ‘all in’, said Ring when asked what she will bring to Ryerson. “I am really looking forward to playing with new faces and finding my place as the year goes on.”