By Brittany Del Barba
Special to Kypost.com
PARK HILLS, Ky. – To see Nick Ruthsatz walk down the street, the image of a Division I basketball recruit does not immediately come to mind.
At just 5-foot-10, the Covington Catholic point guard has burst his way onto college coaches’ recruiting lists while he and his father, Scott, continue the success of the Colonels’ basketball program.
Boasting a 21.0 points-per-game average, highlighted by a 31-point effort against Moeller on Dec. 8, Ruthsatz has led CovCath to an 12-1 record to open the season. The aggressive and smooth ball handler is also hitting over 40 percent from 3-point range, while dishing out four assists per contest.
“Off the court he is a great guy, can be funny sometimes,” Colonels senior forward Sawyer Pauly. “On the court he is just an unbelievable player. He gets everyone involved, he scores for us. Pretty much he is our best player.”
The father-and-son combination came to Northern Kentucky after spending three seasons as part of the prestigious St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., program under hall-of-fame coach Bob Hurley.
Coach Ruthsatz served as an assistant varsity coach, while Nick polished his skills under the watchful eye of Hurley.
“I would always practice with them and experience playing with the high-level players,” said the younger Ruthsatz. “That’s what got me to where I am today – just playing against better players and making me better.”
A special connection is evident between the CovCath junior guard and his father, who paces the sidelines.
“It is one of the most difficult things to do,” Coach Ruthsatz said. “At times you would just like to wear the Dad hat and not the coaching hat, but sometimes the message you send is not from Dad and it’s from coach, but it’s interpreted from Dad.”
Said Nick Ruthsatz: “Definitely tougher, because he is much harder on me than anyone else. But it’s better in a way, because I know from his past what he runs.”
Away from the hardwood the father-son duo share family time, as Nick is the oldest of six Ruthsatz children with a seventh on the way.
“I have a big family so we just do the family thing,” said the CovCath product. “I like to play ping pong in my basement with my brothers and sisters and just relax with them.”
The road to becoming one of Northern Kentucky’s standout players has not been easy, as Ruthsatz’s basketball journey took him through five different basketball programs in five years.
While most high school students are rolling out of bed at 6 a.m., Nick and his father often share quality time during early morning shoot-a-rounds.
“I just feel happy for him for the success he is having and for getting the attention he deserves,” said Coach Ruthsatz. “He has been through so much.”
-- Britany Del Barba is a broadcast journalism major at Western Kentucky University.
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