Changing life for the better

The opponent, settled in behind the screen, takes his shot. The ball sails upward at full velocity before beginning its descent. Not a second passes before it hits the rim, and bounces out. The opposing Center catches the rebound as he hears a shout from the back court. He turns to see his teammate sprinting toward the opponent`s basket. As hard as he can the Center throws the ball over half court. It lands just inches in front of the lightning fast small Forward. He catches it on the first bounce, and drives in for the easy lay up. The crowd cheers for what will be the first points of many for this all-star player from Philadelphia.

Alex Pabon on the fast break versus ASU. Photo by Jeremy Schack.

Alex Pabon on the fast break versus ASU. Photo by Jeremy Schack.

“I came for physical therapy, and my mom saw this flier for Kids` Wheelchair Sports Spectacular, and she said ‘you know I think this is a good chance for you to go out and get active.’ I kept making excuses not to go. Bottom line it was my mom she made me go.” It changed his life, for the better. This is why Alex Pabon says his parents are his biggest inspiration.

Pabon joined the local Philadelphia McGee Sixers, and began making a name for himself playing on teams around the Pennsylvania region. About 3 years ago Pabon`s father lost his job just across the border in Delaware. Pabon relocated with his family to Beaumont, and he took some time away from playing the game. An old teammate back in Philadelphia had told Pabon about the collegiate program at UTA, and encouraged him to check it out. “I was getting tired of living paycheck to paycheck, I wanted to come back to school to finish my degree. I had heard so many great things about UTA and it`s coaching staff. No other school had peaked my interest as much as UTA.” In 2015 seven years after first playing the game that changed his life Pabon packed up his car for the weekend trip to UTA, and the start of his next journey. Basketball followed by more basketball. Pabon says he could play ball all day. Basically he loved it.

He returned that summer for a tournament, and to make plans for attending UTA in the fall. Later that summer it was official that he would attend UTA, and to be a part of the Movin` Mavs.

His goals for the future are to get his degree in his time at UTA. Maybe it will be on to Europe after graduation. Third option is to move back to Philadelphia, and share with others the inspiration he felt when he first wheeled on to the court to take his first shots. “Honestly Basketball is Basketball, it doesn`t matter if I`m standing up, sitting down, lying down, I`m just gonna play the game.”

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