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City Honors basketball team raises funds for injured teammate

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 18:32:19-05

It was a scene just about one hour into the New Year that Charles Butera will never forget.

"It was crazy," said Butera, as he recalled the situation. "Paramedics were arriving at the scene, firefighters were arriving at the scene, you could hear police coming in the distance."

Police say two cars crashed, hitting a group of people walking on Richmond Avenue near Bryant.

"The car behind the front car was smoking, completely smashed up, glass everywhere," said Butera.

In the middle of it all was 15-year-old Nate Kahn, a City Honors High School basketball player. Kahn was hit by a suspected drunk driver and was rushed to ECMC where doctors saved his life, but had to amputate his left leg.

"He's a great kid," said his friend and teammate, Sam Battaglia. "He's an amazing athlete, he perseveres more than anybody I've ever met."

And he continues to persevere from his hospital bed, where Battaglia has been to visit three times.

"They're doing a lot better now," said Battaglia, referring to the family. "It was hard at the beginning. It's going to be hard, but they're doing a lot better. They're taking it day by day."

Something that's helping them get through it all: the fundraiser the basketball team put together.  The team is selling t-shirts to help the family cover medical expenses.

"I originally launched the campaign just to sell 30 shirts," said Battaglia. "I thought we were just going to do the basketball team, but instantly it blew up, crashed the entire site within an hour."

Those 30 shirts quickly grew to almost 1,000, helping the team raise more than $30,000.

"People are talking about how they're there for Nate," said Battaglia. "Talking about how much they're there for Nate, and it's really helped him because he told me and his parents said that they look through that every night, just to see what people are saying."

Battaglia also said he tried to embody Kahn with the shirt design. If you wish to purchase one, and donate to the family, you can go here.