GREAT FALLS — Anyone that’s covered CMR High School basketball in the last 20 years knows the name Josh Huestis. Huestis, who is now trying to make his way back into the NBA after a stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder, is now remembered throughout the halls of his alma mater where he left a major impact.
In the skybridge connecting CMR's field house to the main gym hangs a mural of Huestis created by 2004 CMR graduate and football standout Ryan Bagley. Bagley was a multi-sport athlete for the Rustlers who went on to play for the Montana Grizzlies football program.
CMR head boys basketball coach John Cislo had originally wanted a portrait of the Hall of Fame coaches from CMR’s past back in 2019 but Bagley had other plans.
“He wanted a coaches mural for the field house and I was like ‘Okay, that’s cool but I’m going to do Josh first’ and he kind of laughed and this is like 2019 so we had this in the works for a long time,” Bagley recalled.
With what Huestis has meant to the basketball community in Montana having been one of the few kids to have played in the NBA, playing for Stanford University and winning back-to-back state titles for the Rustlers in 2009 and 2010, the significance of the artwork is not lost on him.
“To now know that a pointing of me, a mural of me is going up in that same building is an amazing honor and you know I’m pretty proud to know that I left my legacy there,” Huestis said.
Even before the mural, Bagley and Huestis had mutual admiration for each other growing up as both were Rustler standouts.
“I remember being young and watching Ryan Bagley play for CMR and thinking those guys were the coolest guys on the planet just watching those football players, you felt like they were celebrities you know what I mean and Ryan was so talented," Huestis said. "Then I got a chance to meet him a little bit later and we became friends.”
Bagley currently resides in Portland, Oregon with his family as he continues churning out portraits for his business RB3 Designs, while Huestis is trying to make his way back into the NBA through a new contract with the G-League's Cleveland Charge.