By JOHN ANDERSON
Gabby Kranock should have received a 30 second round of applause, stepped forward with her parents, Lisa and Denis Kranock, and listened as other seniors were honored on Monday night.
It was Senior Night recognition for the Cuba-Rushford girls’ basketball team, but a horrific incident with a car striking Kranock has left her paralyzed.
Kranock was near-death after the Sept. 3 accident due to the recklessness of an underage drunk driver in Portville. Gabby was not in the car, but standing in a yard.
Kayden Joseph Belleisle, 19, of Olean, died after the vehicle struck him.
Gabby spent three weeks in a trauma intensive care unit at the Erie County Medical Center. She moved to other rooms and endured multiple neck and back surgeries in hopes someday they can reverse the paralysis.
Her fight captured the hearts of Western New York and many members of the Buffalo Bills. The famous 26 Shirts company created a shirt in her honor to raise money for her cause. Gabby’s progress has been updated on television as well.
On Monday night, Coach Pat Wight and the Cuba-Rushford athletic department honored all seven of their seniors — Searle, Demick, Emma Retz, Tara Duvall, Destiny Darrin, Laney Murphy and Kranock.
Gabby was home where she continues to recover.
The team honored Kranock by decorating the gym with green and white balloons forming an archway right at the point of entry, as well as a bouquet of balloons sitting amongst the railings in the grandstands. In addition, light green shirts with “#GabbyStrong” inscribed on the front were adorned by the Lady Rebels during the team’s warm-ups.
Wight says this year’s group is one of a kind.
“This group of seniors will always be special to me. They were freshmen when I first started here, so this is the first group that I’ve been with for all four years of high school,” he said. “They’ve been through a lot with the COVID-shortened year, some season-ending injuries, and with everything that Gabby has been through. They’ve always kept it positive and kept working with great attitudes. I’m glad we were able to honor them before the game tonight.”
See more on the game on the Wellsville Sun site and Chris Brooks has reporting on wellsvillespoer.com as well.
Here is some of the initial reporting and links to other stories from the accident: