February 3, 2015

Samantha Fuehring has dedicated this season to the memory of her 2-year-old niece, Elizabeth “Ella” Fuehring.

She says every point, every rebound, every victory for the Immaculate Conception basketball team is for Ella, who was killed in a tragic accident last year.

Fuehring had Ella’s name tattooed on her left wrist. The team has a tradition of putting their left hands into a huddle because “the left hand is closest to the heart,” she said. That tradition has taken on more significance before each game this season.

“The last time I saw her was at a family reunion for my mom’s side,” Fuehring said. “And I just keep thinking about the time she had a bug in her eye and I got it out of there.”

While these memories and others of the girl with the smiling face and flowing blond locks are never far from her thoughts, the basketball court has turned into a refuge of sorts for the Blue Wolves’ center, a place she can go for a little while and shut out everything else.

“I still remember,” Fuehring said, “but it’s nice to take my mind off it so I’m not always upset about it. Sports helps a lot.”

The Record Female Athlete of the Week led Immaculate Conception to three victories last week.