THE love of hitting the court never changes… but sometimes the way you get out there will.
Ryan Scown, from Boronia, knows this better than most.
He’s made his way in the wheelchair basketball world and is loving every second of his return to competition and the courts.
Scown had played able-bodied basketball all his life, but a car accident in 2012 left him fighting for life and required intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy to regain function.
But that competitive spirit never fades and for Scown, the ability to get back into the team environment and regain his sporting passion got him involved in wheelchair basketball.
“I wanted to get back into competitive sport again, as I really couldn’t accept the disability that I have, cause I played able-bodied for 10 years,” Scown said. “I was in a car accident in 2012 while I was at work – ended up in a coma for a month and snapped the C5 and snapped from L3 to L5 in my lower back and I ended up with an ABI.
“I had to relearn how to walk and talk again, family again and learn everything again.
“A physio I was working with for my rehab told me it might be a good idea to get involved in it to play basketball again – I didn’t think my disability was bad enough to play though, but finally got the urge to give it a go.”
He’s had a taste for it now – flourishing with the Foster Phantoms at Kilsyth – and is keen to take his basketball to the next level. The wheelchair he’s currently borrowing is ill-fitting and not designed for his needs.
He is crowdfunding to secure a new wheelchair that will hopefully see his wheelchair basketball aims span towards the Paralympics and playing in the national league.
And at 6’7’’… that’s quite some span.
If you would like to donate towards Ryan’s new wheelchair, click here for his MyCause page.
“I’ve been playing down at Kilsyth – it’s hard man, pushing the wheels is pretty hard but once I get that down I think I’ll be a bit better at this,” Scown said.
“It’s lucky I’m tall!
“The new chair would be great so I can tuck my legs in and get a proper circulation of the wheels and play to the best of my height advantage – this chair is giving all the small guys too much of a go!
“I’m loving it (wheelchair basketball) so far – just getting back into it and being around a team with people who have similar injuries so we can all relate to each other and understand each other.
“Just want to try and do my best and grab anything I can – maybe the national league and even look towards the Paralympics.”
The biggest thing about his reconnection with competitive sport is the camaraderie and joy he gets from spending time with his team mates.
People who know what it is like to sustain serious injuries. Players who make the most of their disabilities and thrive on court in spite of them. For Scown, that insight and collective experience has helped him tremendously throughout the initial phase of his wheelchair basketball playing days.
“Making new connections and friends – it’s made me feel a lot happier as I suffer from pretty bad anxiety and depression,” Scown said. “That came about from the accident, so making new friends and helping me connect again.
“The dudes know what I’m talking about and they can relate to it. They’ve made do with what they can do and it’s good to see that.
He wanted to send a big thank you out to everyone who had donated to his cause.
“Just a massive I love you guys – ❤ – emoji love heart,” Scown said.