Created: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 10:00:00 CST
Updated: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 01:48:55 CST
This week's News 5 Aurora Cooperative Five Star Performer is a guy who is lucky to be alive...
Though a car accident took away his ability to walk, it didn't take away his spirit to fight.
News 5's Will Sherratt has the story.
You often hear fans, coaches, players ...talk about their love for a sport
But how do you actually measure one's passion for a game?
Spending countless hours practicing? Or memorizing stat sheets?
How about going great lengths ...just to get on the court
"I think the best sound in sports is when you make a three in the corner and your coach is standing on the sideline and he stomps his foot and yells yes. Because I had that happen to me once. It was the greatest feeling ever."
On April 28th ...2011 ...those feelings of jubilation ...seemingly became a distant memory
As Ryan's world ...was turned upside down ...he was one of three members of the Lawrence Nelson golf team ...involved in a single car accident
His injury ...the worst ... a shattered 12th vertebra ...
"I remember laying there, and I hear Jordan scream get this off me, and I hear Shane crying, and then this horn goes off, then I black out. Then the next thing I remember I was waking up in a hospital bed and I couldn't move my legs. It was a horrible feeling."
"And through this he was still looking and he was still saying, now I am never going to get that basketball scholarship. So even then, even in a state of shock, he was still thinking basketball."
A bone graft from his left hip helped repair the vertebra
Then, as Ryan's mother Tina says ...the Kile's ...began to learn to live again
The family ...headed out West ...spending 37 days at the Craig Hospital in Englewood Colorado, which specializes in spinal chord injuries
And While back at the hospital during a re-evaluation period ...members of the therapeutic recreation department ...turned Ryan on to wheelchair basketball
"Being able to play able body basketball, you think you can dribble it every time, so the first time I got in the chair, that's what I did. I dribbled every time, and everyone said, Ryan, you don't have to do that, you know? And i said, that's what I'm used to."
After attending a basketball camp at the University of Missouri ...Ryan's interest in getting back on the court ...began to peak
Eventually, landing him a spot on the on a wheelchair basketball team ...the Omaha Red Dawgs
"For his first tournament he was named all-tournament second team and this really hadn't been after too many practices even."
"It makes me so happy knowing that he can enjoy his favorite sport again. It may not be able body but it's close enough."
And if you think wheelchair basketball looks hard, trust me, it is even more difficult than it seems.
"So who do you model your game after? I'd like to say I am like LeBron James, rebounding it, assists, points, averaging that triple double."
So, as Ryan continues to pursue his passion, he remains committed ...to walking once again
Riding an electrical stimulation bike ...and doing everything he can ...to defy the odds
"You'll find that with doctors they will never say, yes he will walk again. They will only say he never will walk again. But they don't know the strength of this young man."
"He is definitely my hero. Really. And I always look up to him. There is no doubt in my mind he will get through this."
"Life goes on. You either have two choices, you can either face it or you can just give up. Life is very short and I found that out the hard way, so I guess, live life to to the fullest."