We who write about college basketball, or follow it, tend to concentrate mostly on the present and almost exclusively on the "athlete" portion of "student-athlete."
But mid-major level leagues like the MAAC are the opposite when it comes to the student-athlete equation. The student portion is the side that's the most-important.
So, it's always rewarding to learn of one of the member school's individual success stories, and Ruth Mahoney's is a good one.
Mahoney, a 1991 graduate of Marist College, was recently named as president of Key Bank's Hudson Valley/Metro N.Y. Division.
That information was passed along by a long-time follower of Siena's program, Jim Campbell, a retired Key Bank administrator who served as Mahoney's mentor for a time early in her business career.
Those of you who follow Marist women's basketball will remember her as Ruth Halley during her playing days. She was an effective 6-foot-3 center came to the Red Foxes' program from Dundale, Ireland.
At Marist she was primarily a defensive presence and a strong rebounder. After being used lightly during her first two seasons she averaged 3.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a junior and 3.6 points and 5.8 rebounds as a senior.
Mahoney leaves little doubt that her basketball career had a positive impact on her life after college.
"First of all being a scholarship athlete at Marist afforded me the opportunity to attend a great college, earn a college degree and play basketball at the college level," said Mahoney, in a recent e-mail. "It was a wonderful opportunity that I will always be appreciative of.
"Playing basketball helped me with my leadership skills which have truly benefited me in my management and leadership roles to date in my career. Being a member of a team and understanding how important everyone's role is to the team, how everyone's strengths and weaknesses combined can result in a strong team are all valuable concepts that have helped me build and coach strong and effective teams in a professional environment.
"Effective coaching is a valuable skill to have in todays business environment and college basketball was a great way to learn about different coaching techniques and styles.And importantly, being a student athlete and balancing the demands of school work and basketball taught me incredibly valuable time management and prioritization skills which help me every day to juggle the demands of being a senior executive, Mother, wife, community volunteer etc every day."
Mahoney has spent the past three years as senior vice president and market manager for Key Private Bank in the Capital Region and Hudson Valley Districts. Although was based in Albany, she spent much of her time in the Hudson Valley.
Mahoney is also extremely active in the community and currently serves on the steering committee of the Women’s Fund of the Capital District. She is also vice-chair and on the board of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region and a board member at St. Pius X School in Loudonville, N.Y. . She is a former board member of the Albany Institute of History and Art and the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce's Finance & Audit Committee.
It's quite an impressive resume for an impressive former women's basketball player from a MAAC member.