Minor league hockey team in Indiana signs pint-sized player


A minor-league hockey team in Indiana has signed a pint-sized player. The honorary player is a seven-year-old boy facing off against severe health issues.

Hockey is definitely not a one-man show. It’s a team effort. And it takes practice, a lot of it. Even 7-year-olds know that.

So much that, he couldn’t wait for the ice.

“To see him this happy is like, the best thing in the world,” says 7-year-old Braxton Wiley’s mom, Denise.

Braxton Wiley’s parents have taken him to Thunderbolts games for years. The Thunderbolts are a hockey team in Evansville.

It was love at first sight.

“But when he’s around these guys, i mean, he just nonstop talks. It’s just awesome. He loves him, and calls them ‘my team,’ ‘I was so excited to see my team!’,” says Denise.

Braxton is officially a part of the team, now it’s time for business.

It’s team picture day, and full gear is required.

Only thing is, Braxton has never skated before.

Braxton is just as tough, if not more, than these guys.

“You’d never know it, looking at him, he’s dealing with pain right now. You’d never know that, his pain level is usually like a 5 or 6. That’s normal for him, he’s used to it,” says Denise.

Just like the hard work players put in on the ice, Braxton and his family have put in the work to keep him alive.

“He was diagnosed when he was 2 and a half, and he’s seven now, as the years have gone on, he’s just blossomed,” says Denise.

He’s had eight brain surgeries — that’s more than the years he’s been alive.

“He’s got Arnold Chiari malformation. Hydrocephalus. Syringomyelic. Cerebral-palsy, along with multiple other conditions that are minor. But he smiles through it all. He gives 100 percent every time he does something.”

Braxton was scheduled to drop the puck at the Thunderbolts game Friday night against the Railyard Dawgs from Roanoke, Virginia.

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