“They’ve been fun to watch,” says Gina Rusk, mother of Avery and Rylee Rusk, two of the most impressive players on the Lady Crusaders basketball team in Wellington.
Avery Rusk was named Sunday to the 2017-2018 Girls AVCTL All-League Division 4 1st Team, along with her team mate Shayland French. Avery was also named ‘Player of the Year.’ Her sister Rylee received Honorable Mention. Both Avery and Rylee have been named Crusaders of the Week in past editions of this newspaper.
Gina says she is “very proud, very lucky to be able to watch them play together and accomplish what they have in tennis and basketball.”
Even though this was not the first time for either of them to be making that big trip up to Salina for the big game, Gina says she “was so nervous for them! I was excited and sad at the same time, knowing that was the last time seeing them play together, and Avery’s last game. I was also thinking how great it was to be back for the third time.”
Looking back to when it all began for them, she remembers her earliest memory of Avery playing “was her first game when she was in first grade; she stood in the lane looking at us and crying because she didn’t know what to do. She played a lot of MAYB tournaments after that and learned so much. Last year’s high school team was her MAYB team. Rylee started when she was a first grader also; she learned a lot from watching her big sister.”
She has quite the talented family with “Kyndal, she’s in 5th grade. We also have two older daughters-Whitney and Regan.”
Her husband, Mickey, is “obviously, very proud. All the time spent in the gym and ball field over the years paid off.”
Avery says she “was very excited and thankful” when she found out about her league honors.
After the final game she played for the Crusaders in Salina, she said “coming off the court for the last time was very sad. It was hard for a little bit, but then you just have to think we had a good season and the seniors have had a great career, so there’s nothing to be sad about.”
Her younger sister Rylee is a freshman and Avery has already given her advice. She wants her to “just enjoy everything, because it goes by super fast.”
Her final thoughts on the season were that she “enjoyed every second of it, and will miss it, but (she) is excited for the future.”
Younger sister Rylee said she was also “very happy and proud of my sister for being MVP.”
Headed to Salina last week as a freshman, she said “at first, I was really nervous, but I knew that I had to step up if we were going to have a chance.”
After the game was over, Rylee says she “felt really sad because I got really close with all the seniors this year, and knowing that I’d never play with them again was tough.”
After having played for a year out on the court with her older sister, Rylee says her sister gave her advice that “can be really mean, but I know it is always for the best.”
The Rusks are truly a treasure to Wellington and Sumner County. The Wellington Daily News congratulates the Rusks on their success this season. We want to thank the Crusader Basketball teams for playing so hard this year and making Wellington proud.