Thanksgiving Miracle for WVU's Asya Bussie - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Thanksgiving Miracle for WVU's Asya Bussie

Posted:
MORGANTOWN -

It's the time of year when we all sit back and reflect on what it is that we have to be thankful for.

Some of us will reflect on family, friends, food and football as we down turkey and pie on Thursday, but for Asya Bussie, the gift is a bit more specific as the holiday approaches.

Sidelined for her senior season with a torn ACL, the WVU women's basketball standout has had even more free time to spend with her dog lately.

On Monday, the little rascal got loose from his collar while out on a walk with some friends and he ran away. Try as they might, Bussie and her friends couldn't find Lil Wan (named after WVU men's basketball guard Juwan Staten, who shares custody of the two-year-old Chihuahua mix).

As you can imagine, or perhaps you've even experienced, losing a pet can be a frightening affair with no guarantee of a happy ending. The search party stayed out until about 3 a.m. before calling off their efforts and waiting until daylight to begin again.

"I made signs and posted them all in their neighborhood and dropped them off at places close by and I called the pound to see if someone turned a dog in," says Bussie. "I was just going to wait and see if I get a phone call while we're in Miami and just hope that someone calls and says they found him or they've seen him somewhere."

Oh yes, there's that minor detail. Staten and the men's team left for Orlando on Tuesday and Bussie was scheduled to fly out to Miami with the women's team on Wednesday. So not only would they be leaving without knowing where Lil Wan was, but they could no longer be a part of the search to bring him home.

Then on Wednesday, with the media waiting on Coach Mike Carey and a few players before they jetted off for the Thanksgiving Classic, sophomore guard Linda Stepney made a discovery.

The first to leave WVU's basketball practice facility, Stepney saw a dog and pointed it out to her teammates. She may not have recognized the little guy, but the other Mountaineers did. Lil Wan had returned to his owner, miles away from where he had left her.

"A lot of people talk about how he does follow me everywhere and sits on my lap all day, he wants to sleep in the bed, so the whole team thinks that has something to do with it," says Bussie. "If he would've been here 30 minutes later or even 30 minutes earlier, we probably would've missed him. As soon as I walked out the door, he was right there."

She immediately called friends of hers to come pick up Lil Wan and take him to the pet shop to get a harness for his leash so that a similar situation wouldn't happen again.

What may otherwise have been a stressful trip to Miami, wondering where Lil Wan was or what he was doing to feed himself, would now be one full of relief and a renewed focus on what the Mountaineers had to accomplish in tournament play. 

"It feels really good knowing that I don't have to worry and be expecting a phone call or just being concerned and wondering where he is," she says. "I can actually go and enjoy myself and come back knowing my dog is okay."

The basketball practice facility hasn't even been open for a whole year, yet it's apparently enough of a home for WVU's athletes at this point that even their pets know to make their way to its front doors if ever they find themselves lost.

This Morgantown version of Homeward Bound turned out to be Bussie's Thanksgiving miracle.

  • BasketballMore>>

  • Da'Sean Butler leads efforts to provide aid to flood victims

    Da'Sean Butler leads efforts to provide aid to flood victims

    Former WVU basketball players join Da'Sean Butler at Playoffs Bar and Grill to collect donations for flood relief.Former WVU basketball players join Da'Sean Butler at Playoffs Bar and Grill to collect donations for flood relief.

    WVU hoops alum brings together an all-star lineup of Mountaineers to help give back to the local community. 

    WVU hoops alum brings together an all-star lineup of Mountaineers to help give back to the local community. 

  • WATCH: Former Mountaineers Recap Alumni Game

    WATCH: Former Mountaineers Recap Alumni Game

    Sunday, July 30 2017 2:54 PM EDT2017-07-30 18:54:45 GMT
    Juwan Staten high-fives his teammates as he takes the court during the WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone).Juwan Staten high-fives his teammates as he takes the court during the WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone).

    The Final Four edges Press Virginia in this year's WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game. Hear more from the former Mountaineers as they recap the action from Saturday night.

    The Final Four edges Press Virginia in this year's WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game. Hear more from the former Mountaineers as they recap the action from Saturday night.

  • Long Grateful for Opportunity on WVU Hoops Staff

    Long Grateful for Opportunity on WVU Hoops Staff

    James Long (center) returns to the WVU basketball team as assistant director of basketball operations. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)James Long (center) returns to the WVU basketball team as assistant director of basketball operations. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Former Mountaineer walk-on continues to live dream as part of Bob Huggins' staff for the upcoming season. 

    Former Mountaineer walk-on continues to live dream as part of Bob Huggins' staff for the upcoming season. 

  • More SportsMore>>

  • No. 1 WVU Takes Down No. 5 Georgetown in Opener

    No. 1 WVU Takes Down No. 5 Georgetown in Opener

    Sophomore goalkeeper Rylee Foster had seven saves as No. 1 WVU knocked off No. 5 Georgetown on the road. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Sophomore goalkeeper Rylee Foster had seven saves as No. 1 WVU knocked off No. 5 Georgetown on the road. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    Michaela Abam scores lone goal of the game as Rylee Foster keeps the Mountaineer net clean with seven saves. 

    Michaela Abam scores lone goal of the game as Rylee Foster keeps the Mountaineer net clean with seven saves. 

  • Lyons Talks Old Rivalries, Big 12 Championship, Facility Upgrades

    Lyons Talks Old Rivalries, Big 12 Championship, Facility Upgrades

    Thursday, August 17 2017 5:16 PM EDT2017-08-17 21:16:53 GMT
    WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons speaks with the media.WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons speaks with the media.

    Hear about all things WVU Athletics from Director of Athletics Shane Lyons. 

    Hear about all things WVU Athletics from Director of Athletics Shane Lyons. 

  • Piatczyc to Miss 2017 Season

    Piatczyc to Miss 2017 Season

    Thursday, August 17 2017 4:15 PM EDT2017-08-17 20:15:14 GMT
    WVU's Joey Piatczyc will miss the 2017 season after sustaining a knee injury prior to the start of preseason practice. (PHOTO: WVU Sports Communications)WVU's Joey Piatczyc will miss the 2017 season after sustaining a knee injury prior to the start of preseason practice. (PHOTO: WVU Sports Communications)

    Details on why senior midfielder Joey Piatczyc will miss the 2017 season.

    Details on why senior midfielder Joey Piatczyc will miss the 2017 season.