EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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February 27, 2013

Ex-Timberlane star among injured in UMaine team bus crash

Former Timberlane High hoop star Samantha "Sam" Wheeler of Derry was among those injured when a charter bus carrying the University of Maine women's basketball team went off Interstate 95 in Georgetown last night.

Wheeler's on-court career was ended in early 2012 by the lingering effects of two concussions. She remained with the Black Bears as the team's director of basketball operations, according to a statement released by the university last night.

Coach Richard Barron was treated for facial lacerations, and two players, Ashleigh Roberts and Corinne Wellington, were also injured, according to the statement.

Wheeler was leading the Black Bears in scoring and rebounding when she banged her head against the wall after a collision during practice during the 2010-11 season.

She made a comeback in the 2011-12 season, but suffered another concussion in a game against UMass that December.

Wheeler, who graduated from Maine in 2012, had dreamed of playing for the Black Bears since she was a girl.

Her grandfather, Manchester "Manch" Wheeler, had quarterbacked the football team and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills of the old AFL in 1962; her uncle, Jeff Wheeler, captained the 1984-85 Maine basketball team.

More at eagletribune.com as it becomes available.

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