By Courtney LucasÂ
Cuesta has chosen two basketball players for its January athletes of the month.
Tayler Thompson from the menâ€™s basketball team and Kaylee Williams from the womenâ€™s basketball team were selected by their coaches for their leadership.
â€œCoaches tend to nominate players who not only did the best that season but who are the leaders of the team; people who do well athletically but also add something to their team,â€ said director of athletic communications Pete Schuler. â€œBoth athletes have … made themselves better within the last two years, and I think both coaches see that.â€
Thompson, a 6â€™9â€ power forward, has been playing basketball since the fifth grade and creditsÂ his experience for his success on the court.
This season was Thompsonâ€™s first as a starter and he has kept that spot throughout the season so far.
â€œA 6â€™9â€ guy who is averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds a game, I definitely think many teams are trying to make a spot for him on their team next year,â€ Schuler said. “Thompson has been the leader the whole way.”
Thompson won the title of athlete of the month despite some setbacks.Â â€œIt feels good to be recognized,â€ Thompson said. â€œI rolled my ankle in the beginning of this season, so that was frustrating but Iâ€™m excited for the rest of our season.â€
Cuesta Menâ€™s basketball is currently 17th in the state.
Cuestaâ€™s womenâ€™s basketball is currently ranked 20th in the state with Kaylee Williams as their starting guard.
â€œI mainly chose Kaylee because of her hustle,â€ said womenâ€™s basketball coach Rusty Blair. â€œShe is a player who you will never see being lazy and always playing her best on the court.â€
Williams won first team all conference last season and has kept up the hard work this season.
â€œKaylee is a lockdown defender who is a shooting guard and can play either a 1, 2, or 3,â€ said Schuler.
After starting off the season strong, Williams had a minor setback in the middle of the season when her appendix burst and she was forced to have an appendectomy.
â€œOur chemistry got a little messed up [on the court],â€ said Williams. â€œBut they held it together and still did well without me.â€
Williams said that she struggled to recover from her injuries, but her coach thinks that she recovered quickly.
â€œWilliams has bounced back and is actually playing better [after surgery],â€ Schuler said.