News Releases

Lander student recruits players for a basketball program for the disabled

September 13, 2010

Lander University student Melissa Wessinger is preparing to resume the basketball program that she organized earlier this year for disabled children and adults. The first step will be recruiting players. Last season, there were seven players, fewer than the number needed to form two teams, but the group got together weekly for practice sessions and games on Saturday.

Main Street United Methodist Church in Greenwood allows the players to use its gym for practice sessions and games.

Wessinger, a junior special education major from Lexington, got the idea for the basketball program from her mother who has run a league for the disabled at her church in Lexington for several years. It has 50 to 60 players, including Melissa's brother, Jesse, who is a Special Olympics athlete.

She plans to get the second season under way later this month and has recruited Lander friends and classmates to help. Now she is contacting individuals and local organizations looking for players.

Last season, parents of each player donated $15 to the program and Wessinger used the money to buy team shirts and trophies, and for an end-of-the-season party. She said her mother's church in Lexington made up the difference between what she received in donations and expenses.

It would be helpful, she said, if individuals or companies would come forward to provide financial support to help underwrite costs associated with the program.

Those interested in playing in Wessinger's basketball program or making a contribution can contact her by email at, or by phone at 803-622-0373.