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Mountaineer Magic

  • Nick shows his strength | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick sports a smile as he arrives at WVU | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick may just be five years old, but he already has a fan club. | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick arrives at WVU

  • Hanging out with Coach Huggins | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick with the Mountaineer

  • Nick and his family with President Gee

  • The Pride of West Virginia

  • Hanging out with Coach Hahn | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • A view of the court with Assistant to the Head Coach Billy Hahn

  • Getting in shape for the game

  • Practice makes perfect | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Dribbling | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • What a game | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Lunch with #5 Devin Williams | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick enjoys his lunch sporting Devin Williams' goggles | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Joy on the court | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick receives his personalized jersey | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Signing his letter of intent | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

  • Nick lifted up before the game by Coach Huggins

  • Happy to be a Mountaineer | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks

“ They have really made this day come alive for him. ”


- Nick's mom

Some shoot for the stars - Nicholas shoots for a hoop. Five-year-old Nicholas, diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, has had three open heart surgeries in his short lifetime. But that doesn't hold him back from his love for sports and WVU Mountaineer basketball. Becoming a Mountaineer player for his wish seemed like the perfect fit for this young sports fan.

Nick makes a slam dunk with the help of his new teammate | Photo courtesy of All-Pro Photography/Dale Sparks Nick started his official duties as a West Virginia University Mountaineer basketball player with a tour of his new digs. He truly felt like a Mountaineer as he sat on the balcony that overlooked the courts; it was his perfect WVU view. As the newest player of the team, Nick needed to get in shape.  The team took Nick to the weight room where his spirits were truly lifted up. Then he participated in a shoot-around with his new teammates. Although Nick was only tall enough to reach the player’s waistlines, it was nothing short of amazing. Devin Williams, Nick’s favorite player, raised him up to the net so that he could make a slam dunk. You could definitely say he had a ball!

After some playtime, Nick was called to a press conference, which revealed some exciting news. With his pow-wow of players behind him and WVU head coach, Bob Huggins, beside him, Nick signed on the dotted line of his letter of intent. There were TV cameras and tons of fans snapping photos of this new, big-time recruit. Nick showed his guns in his new gear, making the crowd cheer loud and proud. This made Nick feel like a true, basketball hotshot!

“They have gone above and beyond our wildest imaginations,” said Nick’s mom. “They have really made this day come alive for him. We thank them for that.”

Nick joined this talented team to tear up the court against the Texas Longhorns. Wearing his new, number-five jersey, he led the team down the carpet to meet the coaches for the introduction of the game. He cheered on the sidelines, having a front-row-seat to his favorite game and new-found team. It turns out that this mini-Mountaineer was their super, secret weapon. Nick’s positive spirit and ear-to-ear grin gave the team mountainous motivation, resulting in a win. But regardless of whether the Mountaineers won or lost against the Longhorns, the day was a victory; Nick joined the team and lived his dream.
Sports is one of the things that Nick will probably be hindered in as he gets older because of his heart condition. Athletics is something he might not be able to do a lot of. I think this is really going to be one of those things that cements him as a Mountaineer fan for the rest of his life and shows him the opportunities that are out there. ”

— Nick's mom

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