Updated Fri, Feb 21, 2014 6:12 pm
The youth of Ohio women’s basketball has been a big story through 20 games, but the ‘Cats just got a whole lot younger. Bob Boldon officially introduced 10-year-old Adyn Bucher to Ohio’s roster Tuesday night.
Boldon presented the birthday girl with a light pink No. 1 Ohio jersey, along with pink cupcakes, a women’s basketball t-shirt and a signed miniature basketball.
Bucher, who has been fighting spinal muscular atrophy her whole life, is part of Team IMPACT: a non-profit organization that helps to improve the lives of children who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. Bucher’s family has been in contact with the team via email for the past six weeks.
When the Alexander Elementary School fourth-grader is not cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, she enjoys physical education and science classes. In her spare time, she enjoys playing Clumsy Ninja on her iPod.
Junior Mariah Byard spoke on behalf of the team.
“We’re so excited to have [Bucher] on our team,” Byard said. “I’ve only known her for 10 minutes now and I already admire her so much.”
Bucher also expressed a sense of excitement over joining the team and said that all of the players and coaches are very “cool.”
With national signing day within sight, Boldon said that it was nice to have a press conference that did not focus on self-promotion, but rather a meeting that focused on Bucher.
In addition, Bucher’s presence will help impact the team’s maturity.
“I think this is good for us to realize that with so many gifted athletes who are so gifted that it can be taken away from us so quickly,” Boldon said.
With two working parents, Boldon said that the team will try to accommodate Bucher’s schedule as best they can.
The current plan is for Bucher and her family to join the team Sunday when the ‘Cats take on Eastern Michigan.