June 20, 2012
By Tom Schad
This offseason stings.
It’s not because the American University women’s basketball team lost a shot at its first NCAA tournament appearance. It’s because the Eagles lost Kayla.
Kayla Wenger, a 12-year-old Bethesda native, sat courtside in her wheelchair at almost every home game. Facial paralysis made it difficult for her to smile or express herself. A deaf left ear dampened the roar of the crowd. Partial blindness in her left eye blurred the experience.
The Eagles would high-five Kayla during warm-ups. She had her own jersey, her own water bottle, her own “AU swag.” After the game, she often was one of the first people to greet the team in the locker room.
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