Basketball teams support local high school senior

Poca High School and Sissonville High School students wear "Team Nolan" t-shirts to support Nolan Woodrum Friday night at the varsity basketball game. (WCHS/WVAH)

During Friday night's Poca-Sissonville varsity basketball game some crowd members might have been confused when seeing both teams wearing the same t-shirts. The game plan was all to support a local player in need.

Sissonville High School senior Nolan Woodrum is a star shooter and is known for putting his teammates first. Doctors recently found a slow-growing cancerous tumor in his large intestines and colon. Woodrum has to refrain from any sports until doctors can perform surgery to try to remove it.

"When I first found out I honestly broke down in tears," Nolan Woodrum said. "I'm losing my senior season. My teammates, community members even my opponents have been checking on me and praying for me. That has made me feel much better about it."

Local teams along with Nolan's family came up with the perfect game plan to show support. Players, coaches, and family members started selling "Team Nolan" t-shirts to help his family cover medical costs, and trips to Pittsburgh where Woodrum will have an upcoming surgery.

"When we were in the hospital I had maybe 40 text messages from players, coaches and friends," Nolan's father Church Woodrum said. "Once you're in the basketball family it spreads throughout the county. It's really humbling to think someone cares that much about my son and my family."

Nolan's father said coaches and players from other counties have reached out to them to buy t-shirts as well.

"Just today we were getting calls from Lincoln County," Chuck Woodrum said. "They bought t-shirts for Nolan to wear in their game tonight."

Woodrum's coach D.J. Williams said Nolan is the kind of player you want on your team.

"Someone players when they get injured or something you don't see them," Williams said. "Nolan is still around coming to every game. I think that speaks to the type of person he is."

Nolan will have surgery at the end of the month to have the tumor removed. Doctors said if it goes well he is expected to make a full recovery. He could he back to playing basketball by the end of the summer. Local students have also started a go-fund-me account to help cover medical expenses and trips to a Pittsburgh hospital for the Woodrum family. If you would like to donate click here.

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