Deion Green is aware of the sacrifices you must make to be at the top of your sport and doesn’t regret any of it.
The wheelchair basketball player has the curriculum to back it up, having made the Canadian team for the past two Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, and Rio 2016.
Green has been playing the sport since his dad took him to a practice back in 2000, igniting a life-long love affair with the sport.
”I just feel that same passion that I felt as a kid playing with my friends,” he said in a video interview on Thursday. ”You’re still kind of like a kid at heart playing with your buddies, but it’s just more serious.
“Now you’re on a bigger stage and you’re putting in far more work.”
That commitment is displayed on his Instagram page where the posts alternate from family pictures to grueling workout routines.
Green was inspired by some of the greatest names in Wheelchair Basketball for Canada like 2012 gold medalist Robert “Bo” Hedges, and three-time Paralympic gold medalists Patrick Anderson, and Richard Peter, the latter of whom he played with during his time with Team British Columbia.
“It was great personal development,” said the B.C. native. “It was nice that there were people in my sport to look up to. They did it. I can do it.
“We had this really intense group of athletes who just went all in for each other and showed what kind of hustle and sacrifice you have to put in to reach the highest peak in Paralympic pro sport.”
The 31-year-old carved out a great career for him as well, winning the national championship with Team British Columbia in 2011, to go along with multiple second place finishes in the CWBL in 2012 and 2017, and silver medals in both 2015 and 2019 at the Parapan American Games in Toronto and Lima.
Tokyo was a struggle for Team Canada, as the club came home eighth.
Green said he plans to play at least until 2026 for the world championships in Ottawa so his four-year-old son can be a little older to watch him play at the highest level.
Asked about whether all the hours, daily workout regimens and nutritional efforts he went through to get to where he is at were worth it, he smiled.
“It’s totally worth it.” said the two-time Paralympian. “I don’t know if I would be the same person I am right now if I didn’t play wheelchair basketball, not knowing my teammates and not gotten to travel and wear Canada across my chest, be on court while our national anthem is played.
“I don’t think I could reset and not have that.”