The goal of this blog has been, is, and continues to be about both educating the public about wheelchair basketball and removing the stigma associated with individuals who have disabilities.
Recently, I have been looking at all my posts — not out of hubris — but to put myself in the reader’s mindset. I know that I’ve explained the rules of wheelchair basketball, but I fear that the latter part of the goal has not been achieved.
I want to make sure that the audience understands why the adaptive sport exists. I don’t want to be labeled as the guy who just talks about wheelchair basketball all the time.
People with disabilities, like myself, go to college to pursue various degrees. We have the same careers (e.g., teaching) that able-bodied individuals have. There truly is nothing we cannot do.
However, some able-bodied individuals, young and old, both at the workplace and at different levels of education, do not view people who have disabilities as equals. Or at least they do not know how to treat individuals who have disabilities with respect (i.e., they automatically push a person up a hill when the individual did not ask for help).
I was bullied in middle school because of my disability.
Because of these realities, adaptive sports exist. That is why this blog exists.
I’ve covered so much in this blog: how to dribble, pass, shoot, and defend. I’ve compared the coaching philosophies between college basketball and wheelchair basketball, and I have discussed the rules of the National Wheelchair Basketball (NWBA), such as the classification system.
All of my posts have, in their own, unique way, attempted to erase the stigma(s) associated towards people with disabilities, and the stigma(s) associated with adaptive sports.
Like I mentioned in my About page and my first blog post, some able-bodied individuals do not truly understand why wheelchair basketball exists. Rather, they tend to watch the sport and cheer by saying “Aw,” not “Wow,” which is what individuals who play adaptive sports do not want.
Wheelchair basketball players — along with every other adaptive sports athlete — want to be viewed by others just like a regular professional athlete. Even if an adaptive athlete is criticized for his or her character or level of skill, that is infinitely better to heed than some phony in the stands cheering players on like a soccer mom or, even worse, a soccer dad.
It is for all these aforementioned reasons — as well as some other reasons that I will mention momentarily — that I say unto you, my gentle readers, that I will be taking a temporary hiatus.
I’ve enjoyed writing this blog because it has allowed me to explain the rules and concepts of wheelchair basketball (as well as my opinions on some of them — Lord knows I am very opinionated).
However, I am in the first half of my senior year at William Peace University, and I must remain focused on keeping my 4.0 GPA in order to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication and head off to graduate school so that I can teach British literature in the future.
Additionally, even though I have been playing wheelchair basketball for nine years, I have covered all the topics that I have learned in that span of time, so I cannot write about any new content pertaining to wheelchair basketball or adaptive sports at the moment.
But do not let melancholy take over your mind, heart, and soul. If I learn any new rules, strategies, or skills pertaining to wheelchair basketball, you, my loyal audience, will be the first individuals to know.
It has been a pleasure writing this blog. But again, I have not composed my posts simply for me, but for your edification. I truly hope you all have learned not only how to play wheelchair basketball, but I also hope that you have a respect for individuals who have disabilities.