COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - “I am blessed with the opportunity to be able to be competitive again after flat-lining and being resuscitated when I was diagnosed with Wegener’s,” said Nathanial Bias of Cornelius, North Carolina. Staff Sergeant Bias served as a medic for the United States Air Force for 12 years.
In 2013, Bias was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener’s/ GPA). Bias had bleeding in his kidneys and lungs. This disease enabled Bias from running, jumping, and other high intensity exercises.
At an United States Air Force adaptive sports camp, two years after his diagnosis, Bias was introduced to wheelchair basketball. Through Abilities Unlimited Bias began playing wheelchair basketball regularly. Abilities Unlimited is a non-profit organization that offers programs for people with disabilities and health conditions, of Charlotte, North Carolina,
Over the years, Bias began playing for the Charlotte Rollin Hornets of Cornelius, North Carolina. He has been playing with them for three years. During the 2015-16 season, Bias was selected as the Rookie of the Year for the Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference (CWBC). That same year, he was also selected to the CWBC All-Conference Team. Bias greatly enjoys the sport and opportunity to play basketball again.
“I have a great support system that allows me to keep going despite my illness. It is still an ongoing battle with my body and illness, but as long as I continue to stay healthy and listen to my body, I will continue to grow in my endeavors. Thank you NWBA for the ongoing opportunities,” said Bias.
In addition to basketball, Bias throws the shot put, discus and powerlifting. Bias competed in the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 in Toronto, Canada September 23-30. He won a gold medal in the shot put, sliver in powerlifting and bronze in the discus. Bias was proud to represent himself, his family, and his country at the 2017 Invictus Games.
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is excited to celebrate “Veteran’s Week”. Veteran’s Week highlights the United States Armed Forces within the NWBA. The United States Armed Forces consist of Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The United States has recognized this observed holiday since 1918, though under the name Veteran’s Day since 1954. The NWBA’s Veteran’s Week will conclude on the 99th university of Veteran’s Day on Saturday, November 11.