If he was walking in a crowd down the halls of Pahrump Valley High School, he wouldn’t stand out. His average height of five foot five inches tall makes him blend in with other people and sometimes he is completely hidden in the crowd. This is why when this Texas native says he is the starting point guard for the Trojans basketball team it surprises people.
Uresti started playing basketball seriously in middle school. At that time he was living on the United States Marine base in Guantanamo, Cuba. He had an uncle who he played the game with in elementary school and his interest kept growing so that by the time he moved to Pahrump to live with his mother, he had the desire to play in high school.
“I get remarks from people all the time on my height, people say, ‘You’re too short to play basketball.’ It hasn’t been too tough being short. I like it when people say I shouldn’t play basketball because of my height because I just want to go out there and prove them wrong,” he said.
Trojans Coach John Toomer says Uresti starts because he works hard.
“He is probably the hardest worker that I have on the team. He puts it all on the line every time and he is very much a team player. The biggest thing is his work ethic and that is why he is where he is. He is probably not our best ball handler, but because of his work ethic he will have the ball more than anyone else. He is not out there just for Rudy. He is out there for the team. That is what I like about him. Rudy goes out, works hard and is team oriented,” Toomer explained.
Dalton Beighley, a former Trojans basketball player feels the same way about Uresti.
“When I used to live here he was one of the few players I would see playing basketball every day in the off season. He is a hard worker,” Beighley said.
The young player sees himself as a fairly decent ball handler and feels it is his strongest asset to the team.
“I practice my ball handling a lot. I practice all kinds of crossovers. Some of them I won’t use in a game because there is no need to get that fancy, but I know how to handle the ball pretty well. I am not a showboat. I just try to help the team score,” he said.
Uresti’s interest in basketball has grown to the point it takes up the majority of his free time.
“To improve my game I play basketball every day,” he said. “Whether I am in practice or outside practice, I go to Petrack Park, I use my friend’s house, I play on other courts, and I just try to get better every day. I really have no other interests in hobbies because I watch a lot of basketball on TV and other sports. I like both college and professional.”
Uresti is a senior and plans on either going into the air force or attending college. If he was to attend college, he would like to play basketball.
“I am going into the air force because my grandfather was in it for 20 years. I would like to go into the intelligence field if possible. I have a 3.8 GPA at PVHS. I have looked at a couple of colleges in Texas and I looked at UNLV and Reno and that is about it. If I do go into college, I am thinking of going into business or marketing,” he said.
If the college or the air force doesn’t work out, he can always go into a trade. To earn extra money, he works with his stepfather who is a carpenter.
“I work on the side with my step-dad, but since basketball season has started I stopped working. I have learned a lot. I have learned how to build cabinets and install them and I have learned to handle a hammer. I have never built something on my own, but my step-dad lets me try to make things on my own, but usually I need help with things,” he said.
The Trojans do not have a winning record, but Uresti is still having fun. He feels the team will come around.
“We have certain plays where we run screens and sometimes the post will forget or the guard goes too soon,” Uresti explained. “I think it’s just a chemistry thing. It is the responsibility for the point to call out the plays, but I feel there are times where you read the defense and everyone should just know what the play is. Sometimes I get frustrated.”
Uresti wants everyone to keep having faith in his team.
“We are working hard and we are trying our best out there,” Uresti said.