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Wheelchair Basketball Pro Nets His Goal — Helping Kids with Disabilities

A resident of Simsbury for the summer, Ryan Martin is organizing camps for wheelchair-bound children who want to play basketball.

Ryan Martin. Patch file photo.
Ryan Martin. Patch file photo.
Professional basketball player Ryan Martin recently completed his seventh season playing for the CID Casa Murcia Getafe, a professional team in Madrid.

The point guard then moved to Simsbury for the summer where he's finalizing plans for his summer basketball camps for children — children like him who are athletes with disabilities.

Several years ago Martin, who grew up in Somers, founded the Ryan Martin Foundation, a nonprofit group that assists those with disabilities. Martin was born with spinal bifida — his legs were amputated when he was 2 years old. 

In an interview with Ellington-Somers Patch in 2012, Martin explained how his career began. He started by playing basketball when he was 12 against his older siblings. It didn’t take long for him to fall in love with the sport and, after graduating from Somers High in 1997, he attended Southwest Minnesota State University on a basketball scholarship.

Since 2009, the foundation offers four programs that prepare athletes with disabilities to succeed in life on and off the court, according to the foundation website. The camps introduce youngsters to wheelchair basketball and instill confidence, character and life skills. Kids attend camp for free thanks to generous donations to RMF. 

There also are workshops for parents to help them learn about nutrition, transitioning into various academic settings, and about athletic opportunities such as the Paralympics. For all of his efforts, Martin was named Connecticut Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 list for 2014.

For this summer, Martin will be holding children's camps in Windsor, Philadelphia, Boston, and, of course, Madrid.

Martin also is developing basketball camps with the U.S. Army for soldiers living with new disabilities. In an interview with The Hartford Courant, Martin discussed the importance of setting up the camps to expose soldiers to the sport of wheelchair basketball and will help them regain independence and quality of life.


Edward J. LaMontagne June 17, 2014 at 09:53 AM
Ryan is an inspiration for persons with disabilities and I am pleased to see that he is bringing his basketball camp to Simsbury this summer. Check out his foundation website for more information about these great basketball camps and how you can help.

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