Ruthy Hebard

To stay ready isn’t just a mindset, it’s a way of life for WNBA player Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks.

Playing time is not a guarantee in pro ball, especially for bench players, so it’s best to be prepared for anything – especially if your team looks to you with a playoff spot on the line.

That’s what happened Friday night, when the Chicago Sky called on Hebard and she answered with a season-high 10 points in 12 minutes to key a 92-87 victory over the Minnesota Lynx.

The 6-foot-4 Alaskan played an especially crucial role in the fourth quarter. She subbed in with the Sky nursing a 69-65 lead and wasted no time making her impact felt as she knocked down a shot in the paint 26 seconds after checking in.

She kept it going, collecting four points, three rebounds and a blocked shot in a six-minute span as Chicago’s lead doubled with her on the court.

Hebard made 4-of-5 field goals and both free throws to notch double figures for the first time in 63 games dating back to 2021.

With the win, Chicago snagged the final spot in the WNBA playoffs and will be the No. 8 seed facing the top-seeded and defending league champion Las Vegas Aces.

It’s a best-of-3 first-round matchup that will pit Hebard against reigning league MVP A’ja Wilson, who is considered the best player in the world.

Hebard has squared off against world-class players for years. She is one herself.

In 2020, as a rookie, Hebard faced off against Alyssa Thomas in a winner-take-all playoff loss to Connecticut.

Fairbanks’ Ruthy Hebard is one of three Alaskans with 400 points and 300 rebounds in the WNBA.

The former top-10 draft pick out of West Valley High and the University of Oregon is now in her fourth season; she’s one of three Alaskans to reach career benchmarks of 400 points and 300 rebounds in the WNBA.

She also became the first Alaskan to win a WNBA championship in 2021. Her road to another title begins Wednesday in Sin City.

Hebard has made seven career appearances in the postseason, a number that is sure to grow as she moves closer to Alaska’s all-time leader Jessica Moore, a Palmer native and former Colony High star who played in 26 WNBA playoff games with Los Angeles, Indiana and Connecticut.

Additional Article Sponsors:
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Korndrop Family Foundation | Kari and John Ellsworth | Krispy Kreme | Burgerfi | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Midas Alaska | BOSCO's | Replacement Glass | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | Nicole Johnston | Loren Kroon | Darren Lieb | R&M Consultants, Inc. | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Continental Auto Group | William Cotton | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Foley & Pearson, P.C. | Aspen Endodontics | Residential Mortgage | Invisalign-Ben Ward | Aktive Soles | Sarah & A.J. Schirack | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | The Conway Family | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Lisa Keller/Multisport Training of Alaska | Dan Rufner | On the Border| Amy & Jason Miller | Harlow Robinson | Team Heat | Todd Whited, Mark and Jamie Johnson | Firetap | Coho Financial Group | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Kathleen Navarre | Jim Hajdukovich | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Mark Silverman | Rick Mystrom | Kathie Bethard | Joe Alston Dr. | Justin Libby, DDS | Team Moriarty |
School Boosters:
Midas Alaska, RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor, R&M Consultants, Inc., Alaska Oil and Gas Association, BOSCO's, Continental Auto Group, Invisalign-Ben Ward, Kathleen Navarre