Alberta’s De’Aeth driven to make Paralympic basketball debut

Canadian's passion points towards Paris in 2024

Reed De’Aeth proudly wears the number 15 on his jersey, the same number his mother wore when she played in high school. He named his parents as the biggest supporters and influences in his young career. (Photo courtesy of Wheelchair Sports Alberta) 

Wheelchair basketball player Reed De’Aeth is training hard for the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2024 Paralympics.

The former WBC Junior Athlete of the year just returned home to Alberta after attending the Canadian men’s carding camp at WBC’s National Training Centre last week, in Toronto.

It was there where he discovered a newfound respect and admiration for fellow wheelchair basketball athlete Nik Goncin.

“It’s kind of a new relationship, but even just watching game film or something like that, (Goncin) is someone who I try to image being, or mirror my game off of,” he said in an interview Monday. “Even the kind of person he is off court as well, he’s just a great guy.”

De’Aeth called his coaches and teammates his “second family,” but most importantly names his parents as the biggest influences in his life.

“Probably the biggest, biggest effect in my life, definitely more than anyone,” he said. “Just from starting at such a young age, I couldn’t drive myself to practice since I lived out of town.

“They took time out of their day after work on the weekends, time they could add to themselves, but gave towards me to let me enjoy myself, and that is the best feeling in the world.”

The 19-year-old was born without a fibula and his parents decided to make the decision to amputate his left foot at the early age of four.

De’Aeth feels very fortunate about the opportunity he has been given to play para sports at a competitive level, especially growing up as a sports fan.

Aside from basketball, he also enjoys sledge hockey, and para-Nordic skiing.

“I’ve always had the sports aspect to me, so I’ve always played sports growing up. It’s been the biggest part of my life and just kind of shaped me into who I am.”

De’Aeth has won a gold medal with Alberta at the Canada Games in Red Deer, and was named the WBC Junior Athlete of the year in 2020.

He feels more determined than ever, and now has his eyes set on the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.

“Right now, it’s my biggest drive. It’s what my narrow focus is,” said De’Aeth. “Doing all my training, lifting, shooting, going to practice, put in the extra work that will help me get to that spot.”

The Park product loves the game so much he said he hopes to continue being involved after his playing career is over.

“I kind of want to plan on coaching when I’m done playing. Help people, get them better,” he said. “It’s a pretty good feeling knowing that it’s not going to be over after I’m playing. I still have a chance to be there and not have to give it all up right away.”

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Posted: Mar 28 2022 10:07 pm
Filed under: Amateur Basketball Parasports Sports Wheelchair Basketball