Jesse, a Rolling Raptors team member and Wheelchair Basketball National Team hopeful, fell in love with the sport five years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
Jesse’s love for the sport began after his injury when a friend from high school invited him to join a local wheelchair basketball practice. After watching the fast pace of the game, the competitive spirit of the players and their impressive athleticism, Jesse knew he was hooked.
Fast forward five years, and Jesse’s still as passionate as ever. “Basketball to me is a way of living. The discipline, challenge, and sense of achievement that go along with this sport teach many lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life.” For the past three years, he’s trained countless hours at the National Wheelchair Basketball academy with the Rolling Raptors and is currently working towards his next big goal: qualifying for the 2020 Olympic team.
Jesse’s connection with SCIO began following his injury when he reached out to our Peer Program team. “It really helped me gain perspective on my own injury. It was also a good way to connect with someone relatable.” Jesse expressed his gratitude for SCIO multiple times saying, “In a situation that seemed so socially isolating it really was a great support for me. I am very thankful for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario’s services!”
Jesse, an avid Raptors’ fan, loved the hype around the Raptors victory last year. Residing in downtown Toronto, Jesse is accustomed to watching fans celebrate in the streets and loves “how the excitement of the Raptors brings the city together.” As a testament to Jesse’s dedication to the game, during the Raptors Parade, he was on the court, working hard to achieve his goals. l
Emma Lavery is a Kinesiology student at University of Toronto. She has also played a key role in SCIO’s Marketing and Communications team in the position of Marketing Intern.
Photo: Hannah Matheson