The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to get caught up in the spin cycle and let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.
This week we have another sports dream come true, just in time for March Madness.
Josh Speidel, a big athletic kid at 6 foot 8 inches, lived for basketball in Columbus, Indiana. He was recruited in the fall of his senior year by the University of Vermont and his coach, John Becker, believed Josh was on track to become one of the best all time players in U of V history, according to CBS Sports. But Josh’s story took a long and difficult detour.
In his senior year of high school, on February 1, 2015, Josh was in a terrible car accident. His vehicle was t-boned on the driver’s side and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for weeks and when he awoke, Josh, known for his willingness to work hard, went from being an elite athlete to having to learn to walk and talk again.
A couple days after the accident, Becker flew to Indiana to tell Josh’s parents that the University of Vermont would be honoring his basketball scholarship, although it was understood he would most likely not be able to play. Josh improved beyond all expectations and was able to practice with the team daily. His teammates were not only supportive of him but his attitude inspired them. Josh has maintained a grade point average of 3.4, the highest on the team, in a specially designed major and will graduate in May.
Josh’s dream of playing and hearing his name said as part of the starting lineup finally came true this past week, five years after the accident that almost killed him.
On Senior Night, during a game between Albany and U of V, in a special arrangement between the two coaches, Josh took to the boards and made the first basket of the game. He was on the court for about 20 seconds but it was a dream come true and the best of college sports.
Josh told the Burlington Free Press that he could write a book of everything he has learned during the last 5 years. He said, “I tell this to people: Always have an end goal in your head and chase after it as hard as you can. And whenever you need help, ask the people around you because I think there are more people than you think who are there to help you.” He continued, “I’ve held on to that and really tried to live by that.” The most important message Josh wanted to convey was to not give up on your dreams.
A kid who never gave up in the face of extreme adversity and a team that never gave up on him is Something Good to focus on as the new week begins.
Now it’s your turn… Tell me something good!