By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
NORTH KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
One local basketball team got a rare chance to play at home Saturday. The players, in wheelchairs, usually have to travel hours just to play the game they love.
A typical tournament weekend includes hours in the car for the Kansas City Pioneers, but for the first time in years the Pioneers have a home game.
Justyn Newman loves basketball.
"It's my favorite sport. I like having a ball in my hand, passing, shooting," Newman said.
He doesn't let Legg-Calve-Perthes disease stop him.
"I had a baseball tournament I was in, and my hip started hurting. My dad took me out of the game, then we went to the doctor, and he said I had some sort of disease," Newman said.
"He lost oxygen and blood flow to his femoral head and his pelvis, so that bone is completely dead, so he's not able to put any weight-bearing activities on it whatsoever," said Kelly Newman.
But thanks to his chair, he can now safely play the game.
"Being with friends, talking and communicating because it's a communicating game," Justyn Newman said of why he loves it.
The trouble is finding a game.
"About every other weekend, it can be an almost eight-hour drive there and back. It's a long commute, but it's worth it because it's something that he lives for, and it gives him an opportunity to do something and excel at it," Kelly Newman said.
It's been nearly five years since the Pioneers hosted a tournament in Kansas City. Those who participate say it's a nice break from the road for the players, parents and coaches.
"It's great to be able to play at home, not have to travel, have teams here and have folks come watch what we do. It's a lot of fun," said Ryan Sublett, another member of the Kansas City Pioneers.
Kelly Newman said it's good to be home this weekend, but her family would travel almost anywhere to see Justyn play.
"To be able to be on a team and see other kids with a disability and know that he still has an opportunity to compete and be competitive is the best thing for him. It's a motivator," the proud mom said.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:32:59 GMT
Authorities are investigating after three people were killed and two others were critically injured in shootings in a south Kansas City neighborhood.More >
Authorities are investigating after three people were killed and two others were critically injured in shootings in a south Kansas City neighborhood. Police are seeking the public's help in finding the gunman. More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:12:05 GMT
The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month.More >
Islamic State extremists released a video Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warning President Barack Obama that as long as U.S. airstrikes against the militant...More >
Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:42:09 GMT
Canadian police say pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with dangerous driving and assault after a collision between a minivan and an ATV led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.More >
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation involving a photographer, his...More >