Effingham County High School

Lady Rebels go to bat for one of their own

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July 27, 2016

By Patrick Donahue

Hitters dug into the batter’s box, taking mighty hacks to see how far they could hit a softball at Rebel Field. While they were attempting to hit the ball as far as they could, there also was an altruistic motive.

The Effingham County High School softball team held the hit-a-thon as a fundraiser for the program and for one its own, Jami Bassett, who was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of an auto accident two months ago.

Bassett is at Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta, and she and her mother have been moved into an apartment there, said Lady Rebels softball coach Matt Huntley.

“They’re going in for therapy every day, he said. The Shepherd staff also is showing them how to adapt to the paralysis, Huntley added.

Her teammates took the field, shagging flies and taking turns at the plate, with many of them wearing shirts emblazoned with “Team Jami on the front and her number 32 on the back.

“They’ve rallied around her and made bracelets and T-shirts, Huntley said.

The support for the Bassetts also goes beyond the ECHS softball program, he added.

“It’s a lot more than us, Huntley said. “It’s a lot of the church community out here. It’s a lot of the travel ball communities out here.

Huntley also has fielded calls for support from softball programs across the state, including Richmond Hill. Wayne County, Morgan County, North Forsyth, Harlem and Etowah.

“It’s not just local, he said. “The high school programs all over the state have called and are praying for her. It’s pretty neat to see the whole softball state community come together.

Huntley said Bassett could be released from Shepherd for the start of the school year.

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