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Holderness Alum to Compete in 2020 Paralympic Games

Greg Kwasnik
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games may have ended a few weeks ago, but one Holderness alum is gearing up to compete in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo later this week.
Colin Higgins ’10 will compete in men’s wheelchair basketball for Team Canada. It will be Colin’s first visit to the Paralympic Games, although Team Canada is no stranger to international competition. The Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team has won numerous Paralympic and World Championship medals over the last two decades, most recently taking home a gold medal from the London Paralympic Games in 2012.
 
We recently had the good fortune to catch up with Colin - a native of Rothesay, New Brunswick -  to ask a few questions about representing Canada in the Paralympics, his comparatively new passion for wheelchair basketball, and his plans for the future. Here’s what he had to say.
 
Colin, you’re going to the Paralympic Games! How does it feel?
It's super exciting. It's always a huge honour to don the red and white. At the same time, I’m slightly anxious just because we haven't played an international game in almost two years, so we'll see how we stack up.
 
This is such an incredible accomplishment. How’d you get here?
In 2012 I tore apart my left knee and severed the peroneal nerve. My mom is a nurse who works with an occupational therapist that plays, so she knew of my injury and encouraged me to give it a go. I didn't want anything to do with it for a while, but once I tried it, I was hooked. From there, I played for a year or two and caught the attention of the national team program. I Moved to Toronto in 2016 to train full time, and have been a member of the Senior National Team since 2017.
 
So what are your goals heading into the games?
It won't be easy, as the competition on the men's side is so deep, but our goal for the games is to finish with a medal. Personally, I'm not aiming for 20 points per game or anything like that, just whatever I have to do to help the team win at that time.
 
Is there anyone else in the Paralympics we should keep an eye on?
Steve Serio is the captain of the American wheelchair basketball team and defending gold medalist. Might be someone to check out for all the readers south of the border.
 
What’s next? What will you do when you get home?
When things are all wrapped up, I'll be flying straight back to the University of Missouri. I'm headed into my fourth year there, working towards a sports management degree. I'm able to go to school and train full time within the league we play in.
 
What are your post-collegiate plans, athletically and professionally? 
After school I will be heading to Europe for a couple of years. There are professional wheelchair basketball leagues in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, etc.  I am looking forward to that life experience. Once my body says enough is enough, I'll head back to Canada and I'd like to help promote parasport.
 
We’re all rooting for you at Holderness! Could you share a favorite Holderness memory with us?
My favourite Holderness memory might be during the alumni baseball game, I hit an inside the park homerun as my folks we're just driving onto campus. Out Back was obviously quite special as well.
 
Can we expect to see you at the next reunion?
I'd love to make it to the next reunion. I’m bummed COVID got in the way of the last one!
 
If you’d like to see Colin in action, to tune into the Paralympic Games from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5. Team Canada will play its first game against Spain on Thursday, August 26. The full Paralympic Games television schedule is available at nbcolympics.com.
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