18-year-old Brandon Wechsler is the team manager for the Pinnacle boys basketball team.
Throughout the Pioneers’ 2012-13 season, Wechsler has been by the players’ side during practices, games and video sessions.
But the senior isn’t like most team managers across the country. Wechsler is currently battling Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which inflicts 1 out of every 3,600 boys in the United States.
So while Wechsler provides head coach Charles Wilde and Co. a helping hand with his managerial responsibilities, it’s his mere presence and infectious smile that provides the players with a great form of daily inspiration.
To honor Wechsler’s remarkable contributions to the program, Pinnacle allowed their senior manager a chance to get in the game during Friday night’s contest against Sandra Day O’Connor High School.
“It’s going to show that kids in wheelchairs can do anything else like other kids can do,” Wechsler said before the game. “It’s going to show people what courage is and what it means to be part of a team.”
Wechsler was named a starter and played the first five seconds of the contest, giving him just enough time to set a key pick for teammate Drew Bender.
While his playing time was limited, the entire gym erupted when he reached the floor. In addition, the student section paid tribute to Wechsler by painting his number 42 on their faces.
“It was awesome, best moment of my life,” said Wechsler. “It was magic.”
Wechsler’s father Len was also in the stands and held back tears as he watched his son fulfill a lifelong dream.
“It was absolutely amazing, magical” said Len Wechsler. “I love this kid.”
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl