The student news site of Thomas Worthington High School

TWHS NEWS

The student news site of Thomas Worthington High School

TWHS NEWS

The student news site of Thomas Worthington High School

TWHS NEWS

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Rockin and Rubin in the Windy City

Finn+Rubin+showing+off+his+Loyola+jersey+on+media+day
Finn Rubin showing off his Loyola jersey on media day

Loyola University Chicago just gained a huge new recruit. Tdubs’s very own Finn Rubin announced his commitment to play Division 1 volleyball for the Ramblers. This commitment has been a long time coming, and Rubin’s journey to Chicago has been interesting and exciting. In volleyball you see players that are ‘just tall,’ but Rubin has proven to be anything but that. His gift for the sport has shown in his impressive growth over the last three years, and the only place he has to go is up. Ask anyone in the program and they will tell you that he works as hard as anybody.

For Rubin, college volleyball hasn’t always been the goal, beginning his highschool career believing he would play basketball. But volleyball seems to have been destined to find him. “I’ve been around it my whole life because my mother and sister played,” Rubin says, “but freshman year was my first time playing organized.” But once the volleyball train started, he just took his talents and rolled with it. 

Being 6 ‘7 with freak athleticism is a combination that peaks coaches interests no matter the skill. When he shows up to a gym, everyone knows right away that he will be a real threat for any and all opposing teams. That’s what A2 club coaches saw when he walked into their gym. “A2 has helped me grow a ton,” Rubin remarks, “[I’m thankful for] Emi and Salomon (coaches) for having trust in me. They put me on 17 red my first year playing club, which was [the top] team in a higher age group.”

At the end of the day, Coach Brian Lawless has been the biggest influence for Rubin. Lawless has helped him all throughout the recruiting process, and Rubin says that “he has been there for me whenever I need help with decisions.” Along with helping out with the recruiting process, Coach Lawless has really been there since the beginning for Rubin. “Lawless has helped me first by letting me practice with varsity. This really improved my iq super fast.” Having the access to high level volleyball right from the start gave Finn the boost he needed to become the player he is now. That year, the varsity team made it all the way to the regional finals, and was the best team to ever play in the Thomas Worthington gym. 

Coach Lawless has had the opportunity of coaching Rubin since his freshman year. 

Lawless explains that “first and foremost, Finn is a great person,” and that this “makes coaching a lot more enjoyable when the players in the program are good kids, who work hard and think about others before themselves.” As Rubin had never played prior to high school, Lawless helped him grow to be a great leader.  He thinks Rubin has “helped our program elevate the level of play to where we now have a chance to do some pretty special things in the next two years and beyond.” Lawless has lots of memories from the last few years with Rubin, he says “I remember his first open gym where he didn’t know the game at all, and the extra hours he spent working as a freshman to get all of the nuances of the game down, like his timing and approach.” 

Although Rubin was new to the game, he worked hard and was on the roster as a freshman for the Regional Final postseason run. Coach Lawless remarks that his favorite memory with Rubin is “ just all the little conversations or moments where I got to know him more off the court.  You really get a sense for the kind of person he is, and it makes you happy that he’s out here achieving at the level that he is.  I do love his block celebrations too!” He thinks the progress Rubin has made is awesome from being completely unfamiliar with volleyball to now going to play Division 1 volleyball. 

 

Lawless shares that he speaks highly of Rubin and his work ethic, and “ I can’t wait to spend the next 2 years coaching him and then getting to follow all the great things he is going to do at Loyola!”

 

With help from the club team and the support of Coach Lawless, Finn was able to be seen by coaches all over the country. The club team plays more than a half dozen tournaments over the course of a few months, and can be found anywhere from Chicago to Los Angeles. But even with all the support, Rubin says that the process was “very long and very stressful.” Traveling all over the country can take its toll on anyone, but Finn took it all in stride. He even had the chance to play in Colorado Springs for the National Team Development Program with some of the top players in the country. 

Throughout the time, Rubin says that tons of teams showed interest, and many could have easily offered him. Ultimately, he received an offer from Ohio State, who currently sits number 1 in the country, but giving him a deadline made things difficult. “I didn’t see a point in going,” Rubin says. He knew other offers were there. “It took a lot of convincing for my parents to let me go to Loyola as it’s out of state,” Finn reflects, “but after a few months of back and forth and my club coaches convincing them I was finally able to go.” 

To Finn, the choice seemed fairly easy though. “My interest in Loyola is thanks to the location, and especially the coaching staff and team.” The coaching staff of Loyola has been very successful, having a three year stint between 2013 and 2015 with two national championships and three finals appearances. This year the team ranks 13th in the country. This was also very appealing to Rubin, who wants to be a part of a winning program. Rubin remarked, “I really connected with the team…I think I will excel there and we are going to be really really good when I get there.”

As far as Thomas Worthington goes, Rubin has by no means moved on. He really wants to win a state championship, and he feels like it’s in reach. “Maybe not this year, but I want to try my hardest,” he says. While there are some incredibly good teams in the growing sport, Finn hopes to lead the team every step of the way to the championship. He believes that if the team can get on the same page, and he and the coaches can “make them all confident in our skill” then he is “100% sure that by next season we will have a championship under our belts.” 

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