As the plane slowly descended through the clouds towards LAX, I closed my eyes to think of the successful athletes this city has bred for decades. A film strip of many names and faces popped up in my head: Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a UCLA track and basketball star and a 4-time Olympian, she was ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the heptathlonas as well as long jump, a big role model to young women athletes;"Magic" Johnson, picked in the 1979 draft, he spent all 13 years of his NBA career in Los Angeles leading the Lakers to 5 national titles; Elgin Baylor, an 11-time All-Star and Hall of Famer ranks among the top 25 in points and rebounds in NBA history; Candace Cable, a 9-time Paralympian and the first woman athlete to compete both in winter and summer Paralympic games; and Dave Kiley, a 6-time Paralympian, legendary wheelchair basketball player who has won 13 Paralympic medals, 11 of them gold in 3 different sports, head coach of the 2012 London U.S. Women's Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball team. This dreamy film strip was interrupted when our plane touched the ground. I was brought to reality. I was in Los Angeles and was looking forward to finding out what it had to offer!
June 2-3 was the 15th Annual Dave Kiley DK3 Tournament. An event where players enter as individuals and are sorted into teams of three based on classification, skill level, and experience. It was by far the largest turn out in the history of the event with 54 athletes in attendance. The tournament was organized by NWBA Hall of Famer and U.S. Paralympian Dave “DK” Kiley. It was proudly hosted at the University of Texas at Arlington by head coach of the Movin’ Mavs men’s wheelchair basketball team Doug Garner.
The 15th Annual Dallas DK 3-on-3 is right around the corner. On June 2-3rd, 2018 over 50 athletes are traveling to Dallas, Texas for 2 days of high-level basketball. I thought it might be time to explain the event and how it came to be as DK 3-on-3 and the brand 'DK3.'
15 years ago, my great friend Michael 'Shorty' Powers and his organization Turning Point, asked me to run a basketball event "to be held within the structure of their flagship event, Turning Points, Texas ‘Extravaganza’ (a multi-activity sport participation event)." Some big names we know today were part of the first event: Paul Schulte, Pat Anderson, and Willie Hernandez to name a few. This was the birth place of this annual 3-on-3 event. Thanks Shorty for your vision!
"Shorty" Michael Lewis Powers passed away on June 19th, 2016. You can read Dave Kiley's tribute to "Shorty" here.
When teenagers at a youth camp were asked what they would like to learn about in a survey conducted by ABC Medical, 70% responded, "being able to talk about my disability without feeling uncomfortable and answering questions."
While Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States, a strikingly low number of people know about what it entails and/or comfortable talking about it with others.
ATTENTION: Tearjerker Alert!
Here is a truly special story for you, ABC Nation. It brought tears to our eyes when we realized what was happening.
About 2 years since we published a young gentleman's story after he won the ABC Medical scholarship, we received the letter below from Paula, his mom earlier this week:
My name is Ryan Krygier and I have spina bifida. Today, I would like to tell you My Spina Bifida Story. I was born 39 years ago in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I still live most of the year. I work as a teacher’s aide at the Sacred Heart Academy. I really enjoy watching adaptive sports, especially sled hockey. I am a huge supporter of the Grand Rapids Sled Wings, our local sled hockey team. I attend every home game and sometimes travel with the team to show my support at other tournaments.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men after skin cancer. In fact, every 20 minutes another American man dies from prostate cancer.
ABC Medical, a national provider of medical supplies, redefined their mission and purpose since CEO Keith Jones and a group of seasoned healthcare professionals acquired the company in 2012. “Companies like us typically focus on volume and margins as well as manage through the difficult world of reimbursement. While all of those things are critical for a successful business, to us, it is quite frankly boring, uninspiring, and certainly not a mission to be proud of. After attending a few adaptive sports events with my son, and meeting some of our customers fiercely competing on the basketball court, our mission became obvious – To Do Well by Doing Good“ says ABC Medical’s Keith Jones.
My name is Jonathan Alex Villarreal.
I turned 36 on July 19th. Today is August 24th, 2017. I writing to share my story with you to reflect back on the past 10 years of my life since my tragic accident when I almost didn't survive.