THE LIONS CHANGED MY LIFE A Great Assist Ever since he was 4 years old, Tanner Hall’s life revolved around motocross. His complete focus in life was the freedom and exhilaration of racing dirt bikes. That tragically changed in 2011 when 15-year-old Hall was left paralyzed from the chest down after a dirt bike accident. The Rushville, Indiana, resident wouldn’t be held down for long though, with his competitive and athletic spirit re-emerging after being introduced to wheelchair basketball. Now a freshman at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) on a wheelchair basketball scholarship, a state-of-the-art sports wheelchair from the New Salem Lions is helping Hall play at his best and carve a new path for his future. Q&A: Tanner Hall How has the new Per4Max Thunder wheelchair helped you improve your game? It’s designed specifically for wheelchair sports. It has straps for my lap, knees and feet to keep me in place. It’s customized to fit me perfectly, so it’s comfortable and allows my moves to be sharper. It’s also lighter than my old chair, which makes me faster. It must be helping you transition to playing at the college level. When I was asked to play for SMSU I knew I needed to have a new chair so I could be the best player I could. I got to play with my new college teammates when I was registering for classes this summer, and I realized quickly that the chair was going to really help my college basketball career. Were you surprised at how much you liked the sport? Before my accident, all I cared about was riding my dirt bike. I didn’t think much about my future or school. I really didn’t think I would ever find another sport that I would feel the same way about. I enjoy how competitive wheelchair basketball is. I don’t think people realize how physical the sport is. Do you think more about your future now? Without motocross to focus on, after my accident I started thinking more about it. I worked harder in school and got better grades. I can definitely say that I feel more positive in general now, and I look forward to the future. I care about more things in life now. I also want to prove that I can still do achieve anything I want, just as I did before. What are your plans for college and beyond? I plan to get a business management degree, and then I’d like to find a career associated with motocross. Even though I can no longer race, I would love to still be involved with the sport. Lions, has your club heard from a recipient of your service or charity? Tell us about the feedback you’ve received from those whose lives you’ve changed for the better. Email a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Thank You” in the subject line.
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