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2014 Warrior Care Month: Wheelchair Basketball Player Got His Start from Adaptive Reconditioning Activities

Staff Sgt. Brian Boone was recovering at the Warrior Transition Battalion in Fort Sam Houston, Texas after losing his leg from severe injuries sustained while deployed to Afghanistan. During his recovery, he produced a training plan that not only paved a rehabilitation path for other wounded, ill, and injured service members through recreational sports, but ultimately led to his important role as a teammate of the San Antonio Spurs wheelchair basketball team.

“He’s bleeding, his hands are blistered, but he goes out there and gives it all he’s got. He’s a standout guy,” said Jermell Pennie, the 2014 silver medal Warrior Games wheelchair basketball coach for the Army team, describing Staff Sgt. Brian Boone. “He’s always asking questions, trying to better himself. And he’s always got a smile on his face.”

Boone, who currently plays wheelchair basketball for the San Antonio Spurs, discovered the sport while recovering at the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Boone sustained severe injuries while deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, ultimately losing his left leg below the knee. As part of his recovery at the WTB, he created a personalized Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP), connecting adaptive reconditioning activities like sports to future goals. Within a month of returning to the United States, he was fitted with a prosthetic and was walking again.

“Sports really help me get out of myself,” said Boone, crediting adaptive reconditioning activities he participated in at the WTB for facilitating his recovery from his self-labeled “golden injury.” 

Competition and the camaraderie that come with sports motivated Boone to stay in the Army, and he was able to do so through a special program called Continuation on Active Duty (COAD). The motivation and inspiration he gets from competitive sports and the relaxation and focus skills he learned from shooting will help him in his future endeavor: Boone plans to transition out of the Army and pursue a degree in biology.