The Fort Scott Community College men's and women's basketball teams are hosting the First Annual Pechone Stepps High School All-Star Games this Sunday at Arnold Arena. This event will feature some of the best talent from the Southeast Kansas area and some future Greyhounds.
The event is named for Pechone Stepps, who is a para-educator and coach of the freshmen boys' basketball team at Fort Scott High School. Stepps became paralyzed when a drunk driver struck him in 2002. Prior to the accident, Stepps was an accomplished athlete and was doing what he loved -- coaching women's basketball at St. John's University in New York City.
After the accident Pechone spent four months at Craig Spinal Cord Rehab Center in Denver, Colo. However, doctors weren't very optimistic about his recovery. When one suffers trauma to the spinal cord, there are varying degrees of loss of mobility and body function. Pechone has found that having a spinal cord injury (SCI) is almost like becoming a baby all over again. Over the course of his rehab, Pechone has had to re-train his body on how to perform basic tasks like sitting up, crawling, and rolling over. There are no guarantees with SCI's; plus, every case is different.
On June 12, 2007, which was 1,845 days later, Pechone took his first real unassisted steps with the aid of a walker and is now using forearm crutches on a limited basis. Using forearm crutches is the next step in being able to walk again. Pechone is not only coaching and teaching at Fort Scott High School, he also speaks to teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving and is always trying to instill in his team and students the message that each person "must live life to the fullest and enjoy each and every day."
FSCC is proud to name its All-Star Games after such a courageous individual.
The girls' game will tip-off at 2 p.m. in Arnold Arena. The boys' game follows at 4 p.m. There will be a 3-point shooting contest occurring during the halftime of each game. The girls' 3-point shooting contest is sponsored by Union State Bank and the boys' 3-point shooting contest is sponsored by J&W Sports.
The cost for this event is $5 for adults, $2 for students, free for children under 10 and FSCC students with I.D. For more information contact head men's basketball coach Michael Cook at (620) 223-2700, ext. 728 or head women's basketball coach Diana Couch at 223-2700, ext. 725