Matt Bollig grew up playing sports and aspired to become a coach. After excelling in football through high school, he went on to play at the University of Missouri. That was, until a freak weightlifting accident in 2012 that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Instead of giving up sports, Bollig decided to adapt. He was able to pursue his athletic career in wheelchair basketball and is now a coach and the wheelchair basketball director for Midwest Adaptive Sports.
"It's just put me right back in the competitive world," Bollig said. "After getting hurt I didn't think I was going to be able to do that again. It's come back full circle and it's made my life good."
This week, Bollig's career brought him to Central High School to teach students about adaptive sports. Bollig said it's also an opportunity for them to teach disabled students about their program.
"Not only do we help the students kind of learn about the sport, we're also kind of recruiting," Bollig said. "If there's other students in the disabled community that are in these schools, we're going to offer them the opportunity to come play and hopefully they take it."
Midwest Adaptive presented to Central physical education classes and gave students a chance to try wheelchair basketball for themselves. They quickly learned it's a lot harder than it looks.
"I don't know how they do it! I broke a nail today," Central sophomore Leah Lane said. "I feel like I would fall over a lot."
"It's hard. It's a lot harder than I thought it was. It's a lot more fun though," Central senior Zachary Kanatzar said. "It's really impressive that they can go out and do that really well."
Midwest Adapative Sports will be at Central High on Monday and Tuesday. They will be presenting to Spring Garden and Bode Middle Schools in December.