- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Fan cheers on grandson at Fairmont St.
Question of the Day
FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - “It’s nine hours and 13 minutes. Exactly.”
That’s what Ava Fullenweider said when asked how long it takes her to get from her home in New York to Joe Retton Arena on the campus of Fairmont State University, where her grandson, Shammgod Wells, plays basketball.
She knows the trip well. But, of course, so would you if you made it several times a month.
Fullenweider retired from her job as a high school principal to take time off to watch her grandson play basketball at the collegiate level, a deal the two of them made when he was in high school.
“We made a deal a couple of years ago that when he went to school and started college that it’d be about time for me to retire and it just happened to be that time,” she said. “I retired July 1st and he was in the summer school session and I told him I’d be down here to support him.”
You may have seen Fullenweider, or Miss Ava as the basketball team calls her, at basketball games, both men and women. She sits in the crowd like anyone else, waving her pom-poms or holding signs to show her support of the teams.
For her, basketball is more than a sport. It’s a family. And that’s the message she conveys to the young players she comes in contact with through the journey of Well’s start at FSU.
“I think that it’s important,” she said, keeping an eye on the women’s game going on at Joe Retton Arena as we spoke. “I not only embrace Shammgod but all of the fellas playing and it was like that in high school. I come with my pom-poms, ask how they’re feeling, if there’s something I can do for them. I go out to the dorms and check on everybody. Like Caleb (Davis) was sick so I got to talk to him and pep him up.”
Davis said that the time spent with his roommate’s grandmother has been special to him, with his family being hours away in North Carolina.
“Lately she just talks to me about getting healthy. She tells me to pray a lot,” the freshman point guard said.
And even though Davis talks to his mother every day on the phone, he still appreciates when Miss Ava checks in on him.
“I like it a lot. You always need someone to talk to. She acts just like my mom so she reminds me of my mom,” he said.
Fullenweider has been around basketball for most of her life, welcoming in Wells‘ father, God Shammgod, and informally adopting him into her family along with later being heavily involved in her grandson’s life on the hardwood.
Now, though, both father and son are in school and remain in athletics as Shammgod is an undergraduate student assistant coach at Providence, where he played his college ball.
“Big Shamm was with me for a long time. I kind of adopted him. I go to his games, too,” the 60-year-old Fullenweider said. “We all went up there to the UMASS game when Shamm was home to see his (dad’s) team play. It’s really important to support him, too. I want Shamm to know that it’s important to support each other. I spread myself thin but I love what I do.”
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world