TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Winning is nothing new to Cardinal O'Hara women's basketball. The Lady Hawks won their ninth straight Monsignor Martin championship a few weeks ago. All that senior Jade Rutledge has known was league titles.
"We put in a lot of work," Rutledge said. "We come here every day, there's sweat, and a lot of running, and we deserve it."
Basketball became an escape for Rutledge this season, though. Her father has been in a coma since September. In the fall season, she took time away from volleyball to be with her family. And everyone would've been okay with her taking time away from her basketball family.
"I said if you don't want to do this, hey. We understand. I understand," head coach Nick O'Neil said. "Take a day off, take two days off, take as long as you need."
Instead, Rutledge took zero days off. She was at every practice, every walkthrough, and every game for her senior season. Going forward, she'll play the game that she and her father love at Niagara University.
"He would want me to do it still. And I'm still happy doing it. And it takes my mind off everything that's going on at home," Rutledge said. "O'Hara's a winning school. And just because of what was going on at home, it wasn't going to stop me from winning."
Update: On Monday, March 14, 7 News learned from O'Neil that Jade's father sadly passed away.