Wheelchair Warriors

By Taylor Smith, Chrissy Dickerson, Tessa Meriwether & Jorge Guerra

Michael Williams going for a 3-point shot during a scrimmage game at Doris Miller Auditorium on April 15, 2015 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo/ Tessa Meriwether)

Michael Williams going for a 3-point shot during a scrimmage game at Doris Miller Auditorium on April 15, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo/ Tessa Meriwether)

In 1978 the wheelchair basketball team, the High Rollers, played at Anna Hiss and Gregory Gym at The University of Texas. Players snuck David Wear, a non-UT student, into the gyms to participate since the team was always looking for more players.

“We were good until they came in to get our IDs,” Wear said.

Wear was injured January 8, 1976 at 12:30 in the afternoon. A drunk driver traveling 75mph drifted eight feet into his lane and hit Wear head on. Wear ruptured his aorta and spleen, punctured his left lung and suffered three compound fractures.

Wear was 19 years old at the time of the accident. It forced him to start searching for a new identity.

“Kind of shocking when they tell you [that] you are going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life,” Wear said. “[I] cried a lot.”

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