Here’s a sentence I thought I’d never say: I’m going to Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky.
More specifically, I am going to Louisville, Kentucky to play in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s Division III National wheelchair basketball tournament!
Wheelchair basketball plays a significant role in my life. As a matter of fact, it saved my life. Before I began playing wheelchair basketball, I was being bullied in middle school on a quotidian basis.
I went from having depression and doubting my place in the world to having a strong self-esteem. I went from being estranged from my father to becoming one of his best and closest friends.
Moreover, wheelchair basketball instilled within me a strong ambition to achieve my goals — both on and off the court. When I first started playing the adaptive sport, I could barely score a basket. Now, I can hit shots from almost beyond the three-point line with relative ease.
Furthermore, I was able to perform better academically in school and college. I went from being a student who didn’t care for learning, to an aspiring college professor headed to NC State for graduate school.
Additionally, the adaptive sport created a social life for me. In the nine years that I have played wheelchair basketball, I have met, played with, and played against some of the most noble men and women in the adaptive sport.
Ultimately, wheelchair basketball has improved my all aspects of my life significantly, and I am grateful for it.
Furthermore, the achievement of going to Nationals has made me realize that all the countless hours I spent lifting weights, doing push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups, dips, medicine ball exercises, practicing with my dear teammates, and shooting hoops in the gym — whether it be by myself or with my dad, friends, or teammates — have finally, finally paid off.
I want to personally thank those who introduced me to wheelchair basketball and those who have journeyed with me during this nine-year (and still continuing) odyssey. I want to thank my wheelchair basketball team, the Triangle Thunder, and everything they have taught me about basketball and, more importantly, life. I truly love and thank them all for everything they have done and continue to do for me.