COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - “To me, basketball is a place where I can go to have fun and meet with my friends, but also be serious, because to me, losing is not an option,” said Jesus Rangel point guard of the Tucson Lobos of Tucson, Arizona. The 39-year-old Rangel served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998-1999.
In 1998 Jesus Rangel enlisted in the Marine Corps. Rangel trained in San Diego, California and served at Twentynine Palms or “29 Palms” in San Bernardino County, California.
January of 1999, Rangel was riding in the back seat of a car when his friend fell asleep at the wheel. Rangel survived the car crashed, though he is now a t3-t4 paraplegic. Due to his injuries from the crash, Rangel left the Marine Corps in September 1999.
Rangel’s accident didn’t stop him. He began playing a variety of adaptive sports including wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball and hand cycling. From 2001-08, Rangel played for the University of Arizona WildChairs of Tucson, Arizona.
Today Rangel continues to play wheelchair basketball, now for the Tucson Lobos of Tucson, Arizona. He has been playing with the Lobos since 2009. Rangel plays the point guard position and his Lobos team members call him “the ‘Magic’ of the DIII League”.
This year Rangel began serving as the Assistant Coach for the Tucson Lobos. Rangel coaching stems from “I enjoy the game of basketball because I’m able to help my teammates and teach them what I have learned about the game over the years.” He is focused on getting back into playing shape and helping the Lobos receive an invitation to the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical on April 12-15 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rangel lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife and three children. In his spare time, Rangel coaches soccer in the Tucson community for ages 13-44.
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 99th university of Veteran’s Day on Saturday, November 11.