Rust commits to Simpson College for basketball

Senior Cyclone Erica Rust will be continuing her basketball career at Simpson College following the conclusion of her high school days.

“Since I was little, it’s been a dream to play college basketball,” Rust said. “To be able to make that happen is pretty exciting.”

With many options in front of her, Rust talked about what made her choose Simpson.

“I kept my options open,” Rust said. “I obviously signed a little late compared to everybody else. I visited Simpson three or four times, and that final time I really got that feeling like I do belong here.”

Rust credited her family, including her mom and dad, Ruth and Travis, for the love and support they’ve given her that’s helped her get to this point.

“I know probably at least five or six of them will always be in the stands at every game, so I know someone is always going to be there for me,” she said. “I love them so much because they support me in everything that I do.”

At this point in her high school basketball career with the Cyclones, Rust has scored 567 points, with 408 rebounds, 45 assists, and 50 steals.

“She’s super competitive,” said Cyclone Girls Head Basketball Coach Zach Klaassen. “She’s a very hard working young lady, but I think her heart is as big as anybody’s. She’s been like a mother to these younger post players coming through, and she’s treated them really well.”

The Cyclones are currently riding a 6-game win streak, sitting at 14-2 on the season in the Hawkeye Ten Standings. They have four regular season games remaining before tournament play begins starting with a Thursday night home game against the 6-11 Kuemper Catholic Knights.

“We’re going to need eight players on game night, and we’re going to need everybody at practice every day to push those top kids to get better,” Klaassen said. “Parents came out yesterday and we’re all excited, but we just had a talk that we still have four games left that we have to focus on.”

The Cyclones will begin tournament play Feb. 10 at home at 7 p.m. against the 2-15 OABCIG Falcons. The Falcons are led by Jenessa Kolar, averaging 8.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, along with Irelyn Wittrock, averaging 1.5 assists per game.

Regardless of how the season concludes and where the Cyclones finish their 2023-2024 campaign, Rust will be grateful for her time playing Cyclone basketball.

“Definitely our team chemistry,” she said. “I think we play so well as a team, and when we’re on, we’re a very good team, so we just need to keep that mentality throughout playoffs and the rest of the season.”



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