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A Young Man with a Disability Makes an Outsized Contribution to Society

David, a resident of The Phoenix Residence, appeared in MPRNews article. 

Article appeared on the Minnesota Public Radio Website ~ by Andrea Morisette Grazzini

David is a crooked young man, maybe 30 years old. He wears a helmet and clearly has some sort of neurological damage. His speech is limited and comes with difficulty; his reactions are slow and labored. His gait seems clumsy and uneven.

But David is a man of passion. In the simple act of engaging his energies, David continually acts as a catalyst for many other people, producing powerful outcomes for all. It's a sight to see him in action.

Not least because boy, can David shoot.

His passion is basketball. But some people would never stop to watch. This is a problem, because the failure to notice gifts like David's can lead to things like budget cuts for services to people like him.

In fact, for a long time nobody noticed. Not necessarily because they were being unkind. Perhaps they were trying not to stare. But by ignoring David they missed out on what he has to offer. With a little support, David was woven into some pickup games made up of teens, kids and the occasional adult.

He can't break to the net, isn't the best guard. And he far prefers offense to defense. Sometimes he seems confused and, during check, takes the ball when it's the other team's.

But David laughs and cheers — even trash talks, a bit. He plays hard, too. Make no mistake: David means to win. In short, he has fun that's so infectious, all who play with him have fun, too.

To read the full story, click here.