Wheaton Academy's Ruggles sets new shooting mark
WEST CHICAGO – The shooting prowess of Wheaton Academy guard Josh Ruggles is well documented, with the incoming junior being crowned the King of the Hill during the IHSA 3-Point Showdown in late March.
But the 6-foot-1 Ruggles recently outdid himself with a performance captured on video by his younger brother Jake that is circulating on the web. Shooting at the Warriors' home gym Friday, he connected on 135 three-pointers from the top of the key in five minutes, which according to multiple sources is a new world record.
The WNBA's Laurie Koehn had made 132 shots in May.
"It is definitely tiring," said Ruggles, who reached his total on just 147 attempts, shooting at a 92-percent clip. "But I saw that when Laurie shot, she started slowing down on her shot. So I took more time with it and I ended up getting more shots off because my misses weren't bouncing all over the place. And slowing down helped me keep my conditioning at the end."
Ruggles, who in a recent shooting session made 44 three-pointers in a row, actually got the idea from his older brother Brandon, who graduated this past spring from Wheaton Academy. Brandon had seen a video of Michigan's Nik Stauskas hitting 102 trifectas in five minutes.
In his first attempt with only one basketball, Ruggles sank 87 of 93 shots. When told that Stauskas used two balls, he went out and made 106 only to find out later that St. John's Max Hooper and Koehn had higher totals.
"When I beat it (Koehn's total), I was more happy because I knew I had the record," he said, "and wouldn't have to try to beat somebody else at the drill. That is, until someone else beats that record."
Wheaton Academy first-year head coach Pete Froedden could tell right away that he had a special player on his hands.
"He can definitely shoot the ball," he said. "Obviously some kids have the God-given ability of outstanding hand-eye coordination but he also has the thirst to try to perfect his craft. He puts a lot of work into it and takes a lot of pride in it."
Ruggles' feat quickly become an internet sensation, with re-tweets from the likes of Phil Jackson, Dennis Rodman, Drew Brees and Dick Vitale. Ruggles' grandfather, who lives in St. Louis, had multiple neighbors come up and congratulate him.
As far as what his next attempted feat might be, the junior knows one thing he won't be trying.
"I was looking at the Guinness Book of World Records," he added, "and I saw a 24-hour one. I don't think I will try that one. I also saw the most threes ever hit in a row, I think it was 209. I don't know, maybe one day. I'm not quite there, that's a lot higher than I can imagine."
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