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Wheelchair athlete Jason Soricelli inspires us to live great life

Wheelchair athlete Jason Soricelli spins a basketball for

Wheelchair athlete Jason Soricelli spins a basketball for Kidsday reporters from Jill Berns' fourth-grade class at Hawkins Path Elementary School in Selden. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

Our class recently had a visit from Jason Soricelli. Jason is the director of adaptive sports for the Town of Brookhaven and runs the wheelchair athletics program.

Jason was a track star at Centereach High School and went on to run track at SUNY Cobleskill. He became an All-American track star and All-American athlete, and his dream was to be in the Olympics.

In 2003, Jason was riding his dirt bike on a track on Long Island when he went over a rock. The bike flipped and landed on top of him. The accident left him paralyzed.

Jason never let the injury get him down and began playing wheelchair sports. He plays on the New York Knicks’ professional wheelchair team, which won the championship in 2014. He brought his championship ring to show us.

Jason helps others who have had accidents and are now in wheelchairs. Jason said he had a great life with legs and now he has a great life without them. He danced in his wheelchair and showed us how he makes a basketball shot — backwards.

Jason is always happy and always making us laugh. He told us we can be anything we want to be. He drives a car and does everything people with legs do. He is amazing!

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