Nyla Rueter grew up in a small town an hour east of Indianapolis. She graduated with 86 others at Hagerstown Junior-Senior High School.
There’s not much to do in middle of nowhere Indiana.
“It’s farming. It’s Amish,” said Rueter. “You kind of just everyone gets involved with something, and you usually just make really good friends with the people you’re in a sport with.”
Basketball, in the Hoosier state, reigns supreme.
“Basketball in Indiana: to some people it’s a way of life,” said Rueter.
But for a girl who led her high school team to 54 wins and 13 losses it wasn’t a way of life. It’s just something she did growing up.
“It’s just a family thing,” she said. “I kind of got roped into it, and I ended up liking it a lot.”
Rueter’s two older sisters played basketball in high school. Growing up as the youngest in the family, Rueter competed constantly against her older sisters.
“My high school coach told me a story that during one of their practices when I was like five years old I lost in a game of knock out, so I threw the ball into the bleachers, and that’s how they knew I was going to be competitive,” said Rueter.
Rueter has that drive, that spirit and that intensity that winners have. She earned All-Atlantic 10 Third-Team last season. Rueter averaged 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and nearly two assists per game, while shooting 45.8 percent from 3 in conference play. She was, at times, the most important player on a team that finished second in the conference and advanced to the second round of the WNIT
“I am an unselfish player and I try to do whatever I can to help the team win,” said Rueter. “I am not that great of a defender, honestly, but I am just really competitive. I just want to win. I hate losing.”
When Bona head coach Jim Crowley recruited Rueter he knew he liked her playmaking ability.
“Ny was a great teammate and someone who showed not just a high level of athleticism, but also a willingness and ability to make the big play,” he said.
Rueter has had some remarkable offensive sequences during her career so far. She’ll make an acrobatic lay-up in traffic, breakdown her defender and knock down a big-time jumper and she’s never shy about making difficult passes.
Last season in a win against Green-Bay Wisconsin Rueter, with the shot clock winding down, heaved a one-handed pass to an open teammate. It was a challenging pass, but Rueter isn’t afraid to attempt those passes.
“She loves to help her teammates and she knows if she can help us win that helps her teammates,” said Crowley.
Rueter knows what it is like growing up in a small community. Her high school did not have a soccer team, even though soccer’s something Rueter greatly loved. Growing up in a small community is a reason why St. Bonaventure appealed to Rueter.
“I picked Bona’s because it’s like my hometown,” said Rueter. “It’s a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, and I really liked the coaching staff and the players were pretty cool when I visited, and I thought it was just a nice fit for me.”
Rueter still has the rest of this season and next season to finish off her basketball-playing career, but she wants to be involved with basketball right after college by coaching.
“I want to coach basketball,” said Rueter. “I want to see if I get into it right after college.”
Crowley believes that Rueter can do just that.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “She has a really good basketball mind and also have had a lot of different experiences as a player which can help her relate.”
Basketball might have started just as something Rueter did growing up, but it has turned into a way of life.