Basketball Manager makes history; first player in Arizona history to start a game in a wheelchair

PHOENIX - Since he can remember it's been Brandon Wechsler's dream to play basketball, and Friday night at Pinnacle High School that dream came true.

Wechsler, a Senior and Manager of the Pinnacle basketball team, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was 8-years-old, and hasn't walked since he was 10. He gets around in a motorized wheelchair and can't lift his arms above his head, but in Pinnacle's final home game this season against Sandra Day O'Connor, he suited up for the Pioneers and started the game.

This moment, which Wechsler calls the greatest of his life, was not just significant for him, his family, and his team, but he made history as well becoming the first player in Arizona state history to start a basketball game in a wheelchair.

His attitude is infectious, as is his smile, as evidence by the hundreds of screaming fans at Friday's game. There were signs, t-shirts, and cut-outs of his face all around the arena as the crowd started a chant of "Brandon," at tip off.

His coach, Charlie Wilde, had to make several phone calls and get clearance from the AIA, but Wechsler was on the floor as his team won the tip. He was handed the ball and they called a timeout to sub him out of the game. While it may have been just 10 seconds or so of court time, the smile on his face throughout the entire game (pre-game as well) shows just how much it meant to him.

Wechsler has been the basketball manager at Pinnacle since his freshman year, and gives his all every single game. You could probably call him the best "high-five" giver in the state.

Next time you're down on yourself just remember Wechsler's favorite phrase, "the only disability in life is a bad attitude."

Print this article Back to Top