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Oberst turns tragedy into success

08/24/2017, 12:15pm CDT
By Taylor Bond, NWBA

Emily Oberst’s life was completely transformed in eighth grade when she was diagnosed with bone cancer. She had cancer in her left leg that forced a surgery to occur to replace her fibula as her tibia. She is still able to walk and run but is not physically strong enough to maintain, so her transition to adaptive sports were a better fit for her. She soon got a wheelchair and considered the chair to be her new pair of court shoes.

In 2013, she was officially cancer free and Oberst began playing for the Varsity Junior Bucks near her home of Brookfield, Wisconsin. When she transitioned into wheelchair basketball from able-bodied basketball she already had a lot of the general mechanics down. Coaches explained Oberst had a very good shot and great court awareness that made playing in the chair that much easier.  At the age of 17 she was recruited to play at the Univeristy of Alabama on scholarship.

“The sport has been life-changing for me. To get out there and come back able to do what I love is awesome. It’s fast and its physical and no one cares what your lower legs are like,” said Oberst.

Her game quickly picked up and the challenges that came with the transition are what made her a better and more aggressive player. She now has a long list of accomplishments in her new sport.  Emily was named MVP of the Junior Bucks Team, which included boys as well. She was the 2015 National Girls’ MVP; First-Team Academic All-Conference of the Midwest Conference; and 2014 First-Team Academic All-American.

She also participated in her first U.S. Paralympic Development Training Camp in 2014. Now she has the great honor of representing Team USA a dream she could have never imagined just a few short years earlier. Now she sees becoming a U.S. Paralympian is something very possible and looks to make it not just a dream but reality in 2020.

 

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