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Fieldcrest's Ruestman, Peoria Heights' Russell win CSM Athletes of the Week



Brady Ruestman of Fieldcrest boys basketball and Ny'Aja Russell of Peoria Heights girls basketball are the latest CSM Winter Athletes of the Week after earning the most votes in their respective polls last week.


Both athletes helped their teams make history recently, as well as provide a big assist in earning their squads a No. 1 seed in the postseason. Read more about our winners and hear from them below.


Ruestman won voting for CSM Boys Athlete of the Week after performing well during a busy week for the Knights, who played four games in a week and won all four of them. The senior finished in double figures each game, highlighted by a 17-point effort in a 69-46 win over Roanoke-Benson while pouring in 16 more in a key 66-55 win over Princeville. Ruestman also helped Fieldcrest polish off an unbeaten record in Heart of Illinois Conference play with 14 points in a 64-52 win versus Tremont and 10 points in a 67-27 beating of Flanagan-Cornell. The Knights set a program record for wins in a regular season at 30-1 and head into the Kankakee (McNamara) Regional against either Herscher or Momence on Wednesday.


Get to know Ruestman in a Q and A here:


What are your goals for the season? 

"To win a regional."


If you were stranded on an island with a teammate, who would you want it to be and why? 

"Dallas Cook because he's smart and can use his resources."


Favorite food?

"Steak"


I’d want concert tickets to see?

"A concert I'd want to see is Zach Bryan."


If I could have a superpower it would be?

"I'd want to be able to fly."


Who do you think is the greatest basketball player of all time? 

"Michael Jordan."


Who’s your role model and why?

"My dad because he can do anything he puts his mind to."


What’s been your favorite memory of the season so far? 

"My favorite memory of the season is winning 30 games."


Russell won voting for CSM Girls Athlete of the Week and reached new heights for the Patriots, who became the winningest team in a season in program history with a 24-6 regular season. In Peoria Heights' record-setting 53-48 win over North Fulton on Feb. 5, Russell dominated with 28 points. Many of those came from the free throw line, where she set another school record by going 16-for-17. The Patriots recently won the Flanagan-Cornell Regional and take on Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley in the Ridgeview Sectional semifinals on Tuesday.


Get to know Russell in a Q and A here:


What are your goals for the season? 

"Some of my goals for this season would be to continue to get better as a player and be a bigger role model to the younger players on the team."


If you were stranded on an island with a teammate, who would you want it to be and why? 

"I'm close with quite a few of my teammates and I feel like choosing just one would be difficult. I feel like I would want Ariana Sellner, Janessa [Wallace] or Tania ??. I chose them because they're really funny and there just wouldn't be a dull moment.


Favorite food?

"Chicken Alfredo."


I’d want concert tickets to see?

"Brent Faiyaz."


If I could have a superpower it would be?

"Compulsion or mind control."


Who do you think is the greatest basketball player of all time?

"Kobe Bryant." 


Who’s your role model and why?

"My role model is one of my former teammates Kennedy Henry. I feel like she's helped me become the person and player I am today and gives me a different perspective when needed."


What’s been your favorite memory of the season so far? 

"One of my favorite memories was our team lock-in or the day I broke the free throw record.



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