Volunteer firefighter on call barred from basketball game after missing team bus

NY Clayton volunteer misses basketball game 2

Watch WWNY-TV story

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WCBS-TV:

A New York high school basketball player who helped rescue an ice fisherman from Lake Ontario was kept from suiting up for a game because the heroics caused him to miss the team bus.

Lucas Patchen was among the volunteer firefighters in Clayton who rescued a stranded fisherman from a drifting ice slab Saturday, WWNY-TV reported.

He missed the Thousand Islands High School team’s departure for a road playoff game later that day.

Ben Axelson, NewYorkUpstate.com:

The administrative issue is a school policy that says all students who don’t ride the team bus to the game must call the coach and have a parent drive them to the game.

Patchen drove himself to the game, and said he was unable to call anyone while he was on the rescue mission.

“I was pretty much irritated that the fact that he said that and that I just took my own gas and my own car to Indian River to support the team,” said Patchen.

In a statement, TI Superindendent Michael Bashaw said the district is proud of student volunteer firefighters, but said that Patchen was aware of the rule, as the issue had come up before.

WWNY-TV:

As he went to the locker room, Patchen says head coach Scott LaLonde stopped him and said he wasn’t going to play.

The school’s policy requires any player not riding on a team bus to call the coach or athletic director. 

But Patchen says he was unable to call anyone while on the ice rescue mission.

Superintendent Bashaw says he’s willing to consider changing the policy to help students who are volunteer first responders. 

As for Lucas, he says he’s staying with the team, which will find out its Section 3 playoff opponent on Wednesday.