SEABROOK — Since transferring from Boston College to Fordham University as a fifth-year graduate student earlier this summer, Tiffany Ruffin has had little trouble acclimating to her new routine balancing Division I basketball with her studies toward a master’s degree.
But learning the New York subway system, that’s been a whole different story.
“I’m trying to figure it out,” the former Winnacunnet star said. “I have a lot of friends that I graduated with from here who try to explain it to me. You have to take the No. 4 train to this stop, then get the D train to this train. It’s not like Boston. You have to pay attention a lot more.”
After playing three years at Boston College before sitting out the 2013-14 season, Ruffin doesn’t want her fifth year to go to waste. Her decision is as much basketball related as it is academic.
Having earned her communications degree at BC, Ruffin will enter Fordham’s Media Management program with very high hopes.
The transition has already begun. Ruffin started summer courses Monday as well as individual workouts with members of the Fordham coaching staff. So far, each side likes what they see.
Fordham appears to need Ruffin as much as Ruffin needs Fordham. The Rams enjoyed a stellar season last year: They went 25-8 overall, won the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Rams suffered a tough first-round exit against No. 24 California, coming a jumpshot away from their first-ever tournament victory.
Fordham graduated A-10 all-star guards Erin Rooney and Abigail Corning, who combined for 29.9 points per game. Head coach Stephanie Gaitley hopes Ruffin can soften the blow.
“After meeting with Tiffany, we felt she could help us right away,” Gaitley said. “We’ve had a couple of workouts with her already and she is shooting well. She’s a strong addition for us.”