|14-year Old AJ Buchanan Inspires the Men's Basketball Team with His Strength|
|Friday, November 18, 2011|
In the spring of 2010, AJ Buchanan joined the Manhattanville College Men's Basketball team. At 14-years old he wasn't yet enrolled in the college, but he immediately became part of the team. AJ met the basketball team through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, which brings together children battling brain tumors and college athletic teams.
Although AJ has never scored a point in a game, head coach Pat Scanlon is quick to call him the Most Valuable Contributor.
"AJ has been a true blessing not only for our team, but for our college, families and friends. He has been an unbelievable inspiration to everyone. His courage and strength would be amazing for any person, but especially so for someone so young," Scanlon said. "Our team is so fortunate in having a teammate to teach us so much about how to live. We are grateful for the chance to spend time with him at Westchester Medical Center, but we need AJ to rejoin us on the bench where he excels at encouraging our players and getting on the refs."
The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation currently has over 300 children placed with athletic teams. Since joining the team, players have sent AJ packages and spent nights in the hospital with him. The best days are when AJ joins the team for practices and sits on the bench next to the players and coaches during games.
"The love, support and friendship that the Manhattanville basketball team has given to AJ have truly made a difference. Manhattanville College embodies the very nature of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation," Suzanne Jacobs, Adoption Coordinator at Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, said.
In August, AJ learned that a brain tumor had returned and since then he has been under the amazing care of the doctors, nurses and staff at The Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.
In honor of AJ, the Valiants will be selling special t-shirts to help raise money for AJ and his family.