Rolling into Bachman Recreation Center on a Saturday morning in August, is the Dallas Junior Mavericks wheelchair basketball team.
One of their coaches is Paralympian Gina Jenkins McWilliams.
“I want people to look at these children as an athlete first, and then they happen to be an athlete who has a physical challenge greater than most,” Gina said.
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One of the newest members on this team, is 11-year-old Logan Young. He’s only been playing basketball with the Dallas Junior Mavericks for a few months, but it wasn’t hard for him to connect with his new teammates.
“I just kind of be myself,” Logan said with a smile.
Outside of practice, Logan can walk and run, but with a slight limitation.
“Is your right side as strong as your left side?” we asked.
“No, this side is weaker,” Logan said, referencing the right side of his body.
After being adopted from South Korea at 9 months old, doctors in the US diagnosed Logan with Cerebral Palsy. His mom, Rachel Young, said his symptoms are only physical.
“Logan doesn’t really use the right side of his—in particular his right hand, unless he is forced to use it,” Rachel said. “Sometimes he even forgets he has it and so you’ll see him doing everything with the left hand and this [right] hand is way back here. He forgets he even has it.”
So wheelchair basketball forces Logan to strengthen both hands.
“He doesn’t usually use a wheelchair, but if you wheel in a wheelchair with just the left hand he spins in a circle,” Rachel said. “So he had to learn real quickly that he had to use the right side of that body.”
Being forced to use both hands will also help Logan improve in all of the other sports he plays too—everything from golf to floor hockey.
“So if you had to rank your sports, which is your favorite?” we asked.
“Baseball,” Logan said.
Logan is an all-star player in Miracle League DFW. His parents showed us a video of a game where Logan walked up to hit, called his shot with his bat, and then hit a Miracle League home run.
His nickname on the field is “Lock and Load Logan.”
Logan also earned an invitation to represent Miracle League DFW at Globe Life Field, where he got to throw out the first pitch for the Texas Rangers.
“So what was it like when you walked out on the field and you saw all those people?” we asked.
“A little nerve racking,” Logan said, but he didn’t let it phase him and he threw a perfect pitch to Ranger Josh Bonifay.
“So is there anything you can’t do?” we asked Logan.
“Um, I don’t think so,” Logan said with a smile.
Logan is an all-around athlete whose love for every game pushes everyone around him.
“And he doesn’t let his disability get in the way at all,” his mom, Rachel, said. “We figure out how to make it work for him because he’s determined to do the same things everyone else can do—even though he just uses one half of his body.”
And he never turns down an opportunity to try.
“I just like having fun and meeting new people and making new friends,” Logan said.
Logan starts another season of Miracle League DFW baseball on September 22nd. That day is also the grand opening of the Historymaker Homes Miracle League Pavilion in Arlington, which is handicap-accessible.