After his athletic career was cut short five years ago, Josh Speidel scored a basket in the opening second on his senior night at Vermont.
Scheduled to attend Vermont as one of the school’s marquee recruits, Speidel was a highly-coveted three-star recruit. The 6-foot-7 forward was heavily pursued by mid-major schools. Adidas invited him to their All-American camp the summer before his senior season.
A car accident changed everything.
The wreck left Speidel in a coma. He was unable to speak for more than 10 weeks. College basketball was no longer a viable option.
Speidel recovered enough to resume his life and attend Vermont as a student. But he was never able to recover enough to play college basketball at the Division I level.
That changed for Speidel on Tuesday night. With Vermont celebrating Senior Night, and Speidel set to graduate from the school this spring, the Catamounts and Albany concocted a special plan to honor Josh.
Speidel started the game and scored his first, and only, career college bucket to begin the contest.
This is one of the many reasons why sports, and college basketball, can be so special. Josh Speidel had a dream taken from him. But he worked hard enough to recover and continue his life. And now, Speidel at least had a chance for a special moment to honor his hard work the final home game of his Vermont career.