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Norwin team manager gets thrill on senior night

Bill Beckner Jr.

Norwin girls basketball team manager Jess Welch-Mussori was honored on senior night, just like Knights players Jessica Kolesar, Emily Brozeski and Abby Best.

On this occasion, though, Welch-Mussori could truly call the rest of the group her teammates.

Norwin trotted out Welch-Mussori in a basketball uniform Friday in North Huntingdon and the smiling senior sank the opening basket.

Welch-Mussori was born with a progressive disorder which causes vision problems. Much of what she does is predicated on sound.

She also has Stage 3 kidney disease, but has combated the illness and defied the odds for years. She continues to inspire people.

Norwin and Fox Chapel worked out a plan to let her make a layup before the teams played their final Section 1-6A game of the season.

The basket came after the opening tip.

Wearing a No. 55 jersey, game shorts, black hi-tops and a cool, white headband, she set aside the water jug and towels for a few minutes, took two dribbles and promptly banked in her shot and raised her arms to trigger a rousing ovation from the audience — and hugs from Norwin players.

“It was absolutely incredible to see such an amazing person have the chance to do what she loves on senior night,” Norwin senior forward Emily Brozeski said. “She has been a crucial part of this team for the past four years now. Jess always does things for us and it was nice to reciprocate that for her. She deserved that moment so much, and I am so thankful that I, along with the rest of the team, was able to be there with her for her special night.”

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.