2020 had a crazy start and my 20 years plus as Charlotte Jr. Head Coach's job comes to a crazy ending as well. Let me explain.
When your time comes to let go or say goodbye as a coach, I think you just know that time. This season I decided, after talking with my wife, that I would roll away from a program that I loved and served for over 20 years. It was bittersweet no matter how I carved it up. I could reallocate time toward my family and other pursuits that made sense to me. As the season wound down the reality of my decision became more real and emotional. I was going to hang up my whistle!
Lakeshore was my last conference tournament of coaching the Charlotte Rollin' Hornets Varsity team and my longtime friend Lisa Hilborn, Director of Athletics gave me a moment of recognition at center court. As I said goodbye to this critical chapter of my life in the game of giving back to our youth in the NWBA it became surreal. An era was nearing the end but Nationals was just around the corner in Wichita!!
I had an early morning flight into Wichita on the day the Corona Virus put a stranglehold on our country and all sporting events. I woke up at approximately 4am, checked my phone to see that indeed our Jr. National Tournament was canceled. I went back to bed and woke to what felt like a bad dream! What about the seniors not getting to play their final games? What about me not being able to coach the kids who I could call my very own? Just one more time? Not to be...! Our best laid human plans changed by a world-changing virus.
After a week had passed, I get a huge surprise that lifted my spirits. I was told I was awarded by the NWBA Jr. Division the ‘Ed Owen’ Coach of the Year’. Wow! Most people don’t know it, but Ed Owen was my first coach. He changed my life by introducing to and teaching me the ‘Game’! The comments on Facebook were sobering coming from junior players, former junior players and parents. Through such an outpouring of love and testimonial, I was given a new reality that what I did for kids mattered. DK tears are going on now! If you know me, you know it doesn’t take much for me to cry.
I do none of this without the help of others i.e. all my assistant coaches along the way, parents who trusted me, the NWBA, and sponsors. My wife, Sandy, and my family let me say thank you as my greatest-of-all-time teammates!
Joe Jackson is the recipient of the ABC Medical Fall 2019 Scholarship Award. We are excited to share his story of perseverance and grit.
Joe grew up playing sports. He loved challenging himself physically, mentally, and athletically. While he may not have been the biggest player on the team, he was the fastest, the most competitive and he had heart. That was Joe's edge. His competitive advantage.
The 4th Annual Angel City Games was held June 20-23rd on the beautiful campus of UCLA. Two of our Regional Sales Managers, Lina Mozian and Matt Torres, along with our Marketing Manager, Isil Tanyeri, represented ABC Medical throughout the weekend where we were a proud bronze sponsor. We're honored to be the only company in the DME industry to attend such large-scale sporting events and continue to encourage conversations around medical supplies with athletes and their families. We feel lucky to have met many Paralympians and witness several athletes breaking new records in their respective categories. Among the Paralympians was the legendary Paralympic Gold Medalist and an ABC Medical advocate Dave Kiley who was there to support the 3x3 wheelchair basketball tournament held in John Wooden Center. Below, DK shares his personal experience first time attending the Angel City Games.
Thank you DK for your support!
"Southern California is where I grew up and spent most of my life. I have some of the best memories of the So-Cal lifestyle. The ocean- ever so near, and constantly creating a breeze that is unforgettable and constant. Now, living in North Carolina and in the dog days of summer I could truly appreciate 70 degree days and 60 degree nights while attending the 5th Annual Angel City Games on the campus of UCLA.
We are proud to award Anthony Malloy of Atlanta, Georgia with an ABC Medical Making a Difference Scholarship! Anthony goes above and beyond to achieve his dreams and make a difference in his field of study. Read his story below to learn how he applies Adapt.Believe.Compete. to his life.
A few months ago we published a blog on San Diego State University's first official adaptive track athlete Michelle Cross. We were recently able to reconnect with Michelle to get updates on her first year and continue following her journey as a student-athlete at SDSU! Hope you enjoy reading about her story as much as we did putting it together. Go Michelle!
ABC Medical has awarded 5 athletes with a scholarship to be able to attend the Alabama Wheelchair Basketball Summer Camp this summer. This is the second story we're publishing on our recipients. First set of stories is available here.
ABC Medical has selected a handful of young athletes to receive scholarships to attend University of Alabama's youth summer wheelchair basketball camp. The University of Alabama Adapted Athletics program hosts a youth summer wheelchair basketball camp every year. This year, Alabama is expecting their highest number of participants in camp history! Read below to meet some of the amazing athletes we have the honor of sending to such a great camp!