Setters Profile: Gabriella Rubin

Gabriella Rubin (left) is leading the team with 48 3-pointers. Christina Rubin says she always knows when Gabriella Rubin will take a show because she makes a certain face before she shoots the ball. Photo from

JAMES MIRANDA , Sports Editor

For Pace women’s basketball guard Gabriella Rubin, basketball is the bond that formulates everything that’s important to her—family and her intense strive to succeed.

The Staten Island native picked up basketball immediately after playing at a public camp in third grade. One year later, she joined her first team.

Her two sisters, Christina Rubin and Victoria Rubin, also picked up basketball around the same time. The trio would play basketball from sun up to sundown. From then on, basketball would shape Gabriella Rubin in just about every way.

“[My sisters and I] have a relationship that nobody can understand,” said Gabriella Rubin, who’s the youngest of the three. “I grew on the court and as a person. Basketball’s a sport, but it shapes you into the person you are.”

Basketball’s her No. 1 love, but family comes first in Gabriella Rubin’s book. In high school, Christina Rubin would be in the gym before and after school every day in high school. Gabriella Rubin didn’t want to stay with her, but took advantage and learned from her older sister.

“[My sisters and I] would spend hours in the gym and they’ll just be kicking my [behind], but at the end of the day it made me a better player,” said Gabriella Rubin, the 2014-15 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Rookie of the Year. “They cared about me so they were never easy on me.”

The two have played together for their whole lives even to this day. Christina Rubin is also a member of the women’s basketball team.

The sisters work well together because they’re constantly making each other better. It gets scary, though.

During the entire preseason, they guarded each other and it got aggressive. Shoves, pushes, pinches, and shirt pulling was the norm.

“We scared Chelsea [Schultz], the freshman, she said ‘you guys make me nervous,’” Gabriella Rubin said. “We are each other’s hardest critics; we get off the court and we’re laughing about it because we’re making each other better. I wouldn’t be the player I am today if [my sister] wasn’t killing me every day.”

Only they can shove one another, though. If an opponent is playing aggressive against either Rubin, it is game over and their sister instincts come on.

“If someone hurts her, that’s it, we’re sisters,” Christina Rubin said. “We’re sisters, not teammates anymore. We’re sisters no matter what, but it someone comes after her it’s over. There’s a sister instinct.”

Gabriella Rubin’s story plays second fiddle to her intense competitiveness seen in any form of competition. Her competitive nature runs in the family as well.

“[Both my sisters and parents] showed me tough love, no one ever babied me,” Gabriella Rubin said. “I couldn’t go to my parents and say ‘coach was really hard on me today’ because they’d say ‘then quit.’ My parents always strive to be the best. It’s just in [my family’s] nature, we don’t like to lose.”

That tough love has its benefits. In Moore Catholic High School, she had to gradually earn playing time, but the times she played really counted. Her big moment was freshman year when they beat their rivals St. Peters 52-50 in the Island Championship.

“My coach put me in at halftime with 30 seconds left and I made a half-courts shot to go into halftime,” said Gabriella Rubin, who’s started all but two games this season. “The fourth quarter comes and we’re down by five points, coach puts me in, I get the ball, shot the ball and made it. The very next play and I hit another 3-pointer right away. Everyone in the gym was screaming ‘she’s a freshman.’ It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget.”

The toughness by the Rubin family is the quintessential piece to Gabriella Rubin’s life and it’s what’s helped her succeed.