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200 Hospital Avenue
Jefferson, NC 28640

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Picture of Dustin Absher. He is enjoying a courtside seat to the interworking of one of high school basketball's most storied programs

Ashe Memorial physical therapist helps Oak Hill Academy players return to form

Dustin Absher is enjoying a courtside seat to the interworking of one of high school basketball's most storied programs.

From slam dunks and alley-oops to fast breaks and fade away jumpers, the Director of Rehabilitative Services for Ashe Memorial Hospital, is witness to some of the brightest stars in high school hoops. And, in the event of injury, Absher is there to help them through the rehabilitation process and eventual return to game action.

Absher is the athletic trainer for Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., a college preparatory boarding school known for producing top tier talent. He began working with the national powerhouse program, home to NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, and former Duke University players Quinn Cook and Harry Giles and University of North Carolina standout Cole Anthony, in 2018 as a volunteer for the basketball program.

"I always thought it would be so cool to work with those guys who you can just tell are going to be future NBA stars, and fortunately everything just lined up," says Absher.

At the time, Absher was rehabilitating one of the school's players when it was brought to his attention that the school didn't have an athletic trainer on staff.

"I was really surprised they didn't have an athletic trainer because they are such an elite program," Absher says. "He was coming to me because I was the closest one available, and he was coming every day to see me. I volunteered that year, and they soon found value in the position."

Absher began his third season with Oak Hill in late October and will continue working with the Warriors until their seasons come to a close in April. While he predominantly works with Oak Hill's Gold and Red Teams, attending every home again, he's also available to consult for the wrestling and volleyball teams as needed.

Absher has treated a variety of athletic injuries, and his commitment to helping Oak Hill's athletes through these challenging times hasn't gone unnoticed. After helping Cole Anthony get back onto the court, Absher attended a Tar Heels' game with him during his recruitment process.

"That appreciation from the family knowing that I've given them that availability and access to me, that's what I enjoy," says Absher. "To be able to come back home knowing the relationship that I've built with Oak Hill, it's rewarding that I've been able to fulfill the things that I want to do."