Basketball players of all levels and abilities will be dribbling their way to independence Monday night at Parkway High School.
iBall for Independence began as an idea for Parkway student Logan Bazo's senior project, but has become a community-wide fundraiser for Independence Regained. The event is a wheelchair basketball game featuring teams of disabled and able bodied players who will face-off at 6:30 p.m. in the Parkway varsity gymnasium.
Bazo has worked with family friend and mentor Scott Wells for this project. Wells, president and CEO of Independence Regained, has been in a wheelchair nearly 13 years after a drunk driver hit the transport van he was driving in 1999, leaving him paralyzed.
Bazo said they are not only raising money, but awareness in the community about promoting therapeutic recreation for people with disabilities.
To date, iBall for Independence has raised just over $4,300 in donations alone. Bazo said he hopes that number will continue to grow through admission sales Monday night. Wells said he couldn't be more proud of the work Bazo has put into the event and what he has done for Independence Regained.
“I couldn't be happier of what he has achieved with getting sponsorships and organizing this event,” Wells said. “He has been working really hard on his Senior Project and it has been a pleasure working with him and mentoring him through this project and process.”
As a senior, Bazo is required to do a Senior Project, which is required of all graduating seniors in the Bossier Parish School System. However, Bazo said this project has turned into a real life lesson.
“It has definitely been a lot of work, but it has paid off tremendously,” Bazo said. “The biggest thing I've learned is to not jump to conclusions in the face of adversity. Keep a positive attitude and find some light in the situation.”
Independence Regained is a private not for profit advocacy organization that was formed on July 29, 2010 specifically to advocate and raise funds to get a specialized spinal cord and traumatic brain injury rehab and research hospital in north Louisiana. For more information on Independence Regained, visit their website at www.independenceregained.org