Hello friends and fans,
We’ve done a few spotlights this year, and this month we’d like to do a short spotlight on one of our Championship players Randy Jaramillo. Hope you reading more about this great player!
Randy, how long have you been playing with the ABQ Kings?
What got you interested in wheelchair basketball?
I have always loved the game of basketball. Before my disability I would play 5-6 days a week. You couldn’t get me out of the gym. After having my knee joint removed due to osteosarcoma I couldn’t play stand up ball anymore; however I had a friend that played with the Kings at the time and I started playing from that point on and haven’t stopped since.
Is there a particular highlight of your wheelchair basketball career that you would like to share with our fans?
I would say being invited to tryouts for the USA Men’s National Team this past January at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. I had the honor to play against future and current US Paralympians. This tryout placed me on the NWBA High Performance USA Men’s National team player pool, which allows me to receive expert training to prepare for future tryouts with the goal of participating in future Paralympic games.
Recently you were selected to participate in a development training program in Birmingham, AL. run by the coach Ron Lykins of the US National Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team. That sounds pretty awesome. What was it like?
It was a great experience. The Lakeshore Foundation’s facility is amazing. I was able to receive great feedback from the coaches and play and learn with a great group of up and coming players that I look forward to seeing represent the USA Men’s National team in the future.
Since you’ve been playing this sport, has it changed much or has it remained pretty much the same, just different players?
I have been exposed to wheelchair basketball for quite a while, even before my disability and it I think it has changed a lot. The game itself seems so much faster. The chair skills of current athletes are amazing to watch because of an increased reliance on personal weight and conditioning training, along with the evolution of the sports wheelchair. I remember seeing people modifying their everyday chairs and changing out their camber tubes in order to play.
What do you like most about wheelchair basketball?
The camaraderie that you develop by being with your team, going to camps, tryouts, tournaments and so on. Y you meet so many great people, you become a family with a lot of these people, everyone has a great story of why they play and their life’s experiences. No one is ashamed of their disability. It’s great to meet so many people that have that love for the game, no matter the ups and downs that someone may experience in their lives, the love for the game brings everyone together, with all of the diversity within adaptive sports it’s a great common ground to get everyone together and forget the stresses that life may bring to us on a daily basis and it also is a great way to promote a physical fitness and healthy living.
How can wheelchair basketball change someone’s life?
I have witnessed the impacts of adaptive sports on people’s lives by the opportunities that this sport has given to so many people. We have had a few players from the Kings organization that have gone to college on scholarships and used wheelchair basketball as a mechanism to further their educational goals. Some have received their degrees or are currently pursuing their degrees. I have had friends go overseas and play wheelchair basketball; where they are paid athletes and get to experience the world. It has taught me that nobody should have to feel that they are restricted to their homes due to a disability. I look at my disability as a blessing because without this sport I would not have met the great people in my life and have had the opportunities that I have experienced and will continue to experience.
Thanks for reading! Feel free read more about our great players in the news link.