West Aussie Adam Deans will represent Australia in our 12-strong men’s wheelchair basketball team at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics in September.

The story behind Adam’s road to Rio is very inspiring, so much so that he is now a motivational speaker. I was lucky enough to interview him and hear how he got to where he is today.

Adam was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 17, and subsequently had to undergo an amputation of his left leg.

[Click below to hear some audio from my interview with Adam.]

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I asked him how he got through such a tough time in his life and he told me:

“I probably wouldn’t be here talking to you if I didn’t have such a strong support network being my family and friends.”

This will be Adam’s Paralympic debut. He only just missed selection for the London 2012 Games but he was selected to tour Great Britain for the 2016 Continental Clash, a multinational competition designed in part to prepare athletes for Rio. Following their defeat to the United States in the final, the Australian team claimed silver.

I asked Adam how he became a motivational speaker. It all started about a year after being diagnosed with bone cancer. He went back to his old high school and told them his story. In 2014, Adam joined Basketball Australia as a motivational speaker and a life coach.


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Adam is a keen follower of the NBA, particularly the LA Clippers. His favourite player is DeAndre Jordan.

He’s also a dedicated West Coast supporter, with one of his favourite sporting moments by far the Eagles taking home the win in the 2006 AFL grand final.

Aside from his love of sports, he enjoys other competitive activities, including beating his friends at chess, and getting a high score in the language learning app Duolingo, where he’s working on his Italian.