“You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have” – Oscar Pistorius
During the 2012 Summer Olympic Games the world was introduced to an athlete who refused to allow his condition to interfere with his life-long goals. His name is Oscar Pistorius and he is a runner with no feet. How many of us can say we have had “setbacks” in life due to a physical impediment such as this? Often, we are delayed from achieving our goals due to pure laziness and superficial excuses which ultimately result in failure. For Oscar there is no impediment, physical or mental that was able to deter him from achieving success and for him failure is certainly not an option.
This week Wall Ball World is proud to introduce you to a talented athlete who, like Oscar, does not allow his physical impediment to impact his incredible drive. He plays on a professional basketball team that is sponsored by the New York Knicks and has excelled in the sport of wall ball…all while bound to a chair – meet Fabrizio Shao!
At the early age of 19, Fabrizo Shao is a resident of three (3) countries, plays for the NWBA (National Wheelchair Basketball Assn.), and is potentially on his way to college on a full scholarship! “I’m no different than anyone else. I drive a car, have a girlfriend and enjoy going to school and playing sports” says Shao. To his credit, the one thing that does in fact set him apart from the majority is his incredible speed on the basketball court. “I am the fastest player in the nation. I have already been scouted by major schools and hope to have a full scholarship by next year” he humbly explains.
Shao was introduced to the game of wall ball in New York City 4 years ago while walking his dog in the neighborhood. “He would always pull me towards the park and I found myself watching the players from outside the court thinking it looked like an awesome game. I’ve played 4-wall but 1-wall is by far a better game. Wall ball has helped to improve my basketball game. It helps with my agility and hand-eye coordination. I’m very competitive in sports and I always give it my all. Wall ball in a wheelchair requires more athletic ability than other sports. I dive for the ball all the time. I have different chairs for different sports each serving a specific purpose.”
For most, a handicap whether physical, mental or even psychological will be used as a crutch. For Fabrizio it is merely another one of life’s many challenges in which he plans to come out on top. “I want people to know I wasn’t born handicap and I’m not heavily pursuing change. If it happens, it happens. I get mixed reactions on the court all the time. Don’t feel sorry for me, challenge me. I respect everyone’s game but it doesn’t matter to me who steps on the court. I’ll always say…you got singles!”
This winter Wall Ball World will host a handicap wall ball tournament at Guz Indoor Sports Club in honor of Fabrizio and his incredible achievements in which the players will compete bound to a wheelchair. All proceeds will be donated to Fabrizio and his family.
Congratulations and good luck with all future endeavors to our new Player of the Week, Fabrizio Shao!