Athlete of the Week: Ben Masters

7:11 PM, Dec 8, 2011   |    comments
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The Houston County Sharks have quite a reputation in the sports world. The players have won four state championships in the last four years.

One of the founding members has also made his mark in the classroom. Ben Masters is our Athlete of the Week.

Masters and his teammates have dominated the court.
They hoop it up on wheels, and in many ways they've had to use extra skills to get up and down the floor. "I've got muscular dystrophy, so I can't walk at all right now, but I used to be able to," Ben explained.

So he's transitioned into a successful career in a wheelchair.
Ben says he prefers football where he calls the play at quarterback. But in basketball, he's more of a behind the scenes kinda guy.  "I'm kind of like the picker to get the shooters open, you've got to block people," Ben said.

Ben hasn't faced any roadblocks in the classroom. The junior sports a 95 average and he's ranked 19th out of 382 students at Warner Robins High School. His strategy is simple, and it's a thought process he's gotten used to with his physical challenges.  "I take my time and get my parents to help me, like I ask teachers when I need some help, like math. I go to math tutoring," Ben explained.

Christy Jones coaches the kids in three sports. "Well, a lot of students are embarrassed by their physical disability, but Ben and this program has made them part of athletics which means they're part of normal everyday, Jones said.

Jones added whether Ben is laying down picks or making a pass, he's an integral part of the Sharks' success.

"If you meet Ben, you think he is very quiet and very shy, but when he gets on that court, he is the most competitive human being and any collegiate program would be lucky to have him," she said with a smile.

Ben hasn't decided on a specific school. He says he may go after a marketing degree, but he's also simmered over the idea of opening a restaurant. "I like seeing how food comes out and like how you do it and build the food so it tastes good," Ben said. "I like doing desserts mostly, like I made a key lime cake before."

"I know he watches the Food Network a lot and gets recipes, but with Ben's drive to succeed, it would be the best restaurant in Houston County," Jones said.

The Houston County Sharks are part of the American Association of Adaptive Sports programs and they play other teams around the state. If you want to see these kids in action they will have a doubleheader basketball game January 7th at Bonaire Middle School against the Gwinnett Co. Heat.

The game times are 1:00 and 2:30pm.


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