Let's roll!

A Ripon Middle School student tries his hand at wheelchair basketball during a fun scrimmage.

Ripon Middle School teacher Nate Hinze didn’t let a disability prevent him from capturing a medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

And last week, local students got to see his sport and life from his perspective.

It was a school program on wheelchair basketball and those who play it, put on by Hinze and five of his friends who also are wheelchair athletes representing the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

They are Jeremy “Opie” Lade (a three-time Paralympian), Dan Price, Sammy White, Derek Bisnett and John Piazza.

The men made a visit to Ripon Middle School in the morning and then Barlow Park Elementary in the afternoon.

The idea was a program both educational and fun — a way for students to ask questions and learn about the athletes and their lives, and also try out the sport and have a good time.

“We use a wheelchair to get around; that’s visibly obvious, but it hasn’t changed the things we love to do,” said Lade, the director of wheelchair athletics at UW-Whitewater, during the middle school program. “I live a normal life just like everyone else, except I use a wheelchair.” Continue reading in the Jan. 24 issue of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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