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Reed High grad gives back to local baseball community
by Aaron Retherford
Jun 05, 2012 | 1601 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the late 80’s, Nick Kuster was a standout baseball player at Reed. He turned that into a shot to play college ball for UNLV.

Kuster coached at Colby Junior College in Kansas, and then worked his way back to Nevada, so he could finish up his Master’s degree. He got involved in coaching high school baseball, assisting at Wooster under Ron Malcolm for about 14 years.

He has since taken the past couple years off in order to coach his two sons.

But Kuster’s knowledge of baseball extends throughout the Truckee Meadows as one of the instructors at WB Baseball. Because so many doors were opened for him with baseball, Kuster believes in giving back to the community.

“That is actually exactly it. I’ve always felt blessed that baseball gave me a great direction,” he said. “It gave me a lot of contacts and a free schooling. It did a lot for me, so I always felt obligated to give it back. It’s not about how much you’re going to pay me. Especially when you’re working with young kids, you can see their excitement as they try to learn something. To me, that’s worth every bit of it.”

The current owner of WB Baseball, Aaron Demosthenes, competed against Kuster in high school at Wooster. The two then became friends when they coached the summer college-prep baseball team the Sierra Sundevils together and Demosthenes asked if Kuster wanted to come on as an instructor.

“At the time, I was a little reluctant at the beginning, but with the people already there and giving the knowledge of baseball out, it was extremely high quality,” Kuster said. “Everybody at WB we have is extremely high quality. They all played college baseball and played pro baseball. We have three scouts in the building. The girl who does the softball, Jody (Longballa), is an ex-Olympian. The lessons and the information that goes out to the kids is all at the highest level. That was the attraction going in and knowing the people that I‘d be working with really know what they‘re doing. That was a big bonus with it.”

Demosthenes also coaches baseball at Western Nevada College, but when he took over ownership of WB Baseball, he too wanted to help locals pursue their dreams.

“Obviously it’s a profession for me, but it’s nice to be able to help kids and just watch them get better at the game they love. It’s awesome,” Demosthenes said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s the best feeling.”

Kuster gets to work with kids who are just learning how to swing a bat to guys who are playing pro ball and just want to compare knowledge.

The WB Baseball Softball Training Center has been at its current location at Mira Loma and Longley for about eight years. They have downsized since moving into that location and now share the space with Camie Cragg Fitness. There are still four full batting cages and a pitching lane. Instruction focuses more on the details.
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