LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Louisville man went from football star to wheelchair user in the blink of an eye.
Now he helps other people with disabilities access resources that he says are quite hard to find.
On a rainy fall afternoon, the sounds coming from the Portland Community Center are unmistakable.
Herbert Henry enters the field as soon as he has the chance.
“The day before I have games, it’s like I can’t sleep,” said Herbert Henry, founder of Live the Edge by Example.
However, it wasn’t always about basketball.
He played football for the University of Louisville in 1991 when his life changed in a split second.
“When I hit him, bang, bang,” he recalls that night. “You know the bullets came to see me.”
At 18, he was paralyzed after being shot in the back.
His football career was over.
“I couldn’t keep my balance,” explained Henry. “I was falling just left and right, and tears were running down my eyes because I went from a big, strong throwback to not being able to keep my balance, and it was right, that ‘was a little hard. It was kind of hard. “
It wasn’t until 10 years later that he discovered a new passion for wheelchair basketball.
“It’s just fun to go out and push, that’s freedom,” he said. “You have so many different obstacles but on this pitch it’s just you and the ball.”
According to the US Census Bureau, nearly one in five people live with a disability, often due to tragic accidents.
It opened his wife’s eyes to things she wouldn’t even think about.
“You get shot or maybe a motorcycle or car crash and you’re in the hospital, and you come out of it and the next thing you know is like oh, I can’t move my legs and then you come home after you’ve been in therapy, then you’re stuck, ”explained LaTanya Henry, his wife.
Now he’s determined to encourage others like Kaelin Hall to do the same.
“I’m not competing with anyone yet, I’m still competing with myself,” Hall said. “I challenge myself to do something like that and then I do it and I’m like shhh, what’s next?” “
Hall, also a victim of gun violence, was initially reluctant to speak to Henry.
It wasn’t until Henry called him that he said his life had changed for the better.
“I’m going to keep doing things and jumping hurdles because I’ve regained my competitive edge,” said Hall.
Now Henry is running a wheelchair basketball camp with resources for other people with disabilities like them.
“It’s all in the way you look at it,” explained Henry. “Some people can talk about what they don’t have. Let’s talk about what we have, let’s improve it and take care of it.”
The camp will be held on October 2 at the Berrytown Recreation Center, 1300 Heafer Rd., From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Louisville Spokes and Spiers will play against the Louisville Junior Mustangs. Henry will speak, and there will be a giveaway and a raffle.
Food will be provided by The Salad Chic. Everyone is welcome to attend.
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