There’s no quit in Quin.
Michael Quin never considered stepping away from sports once he lost his sight six years ago. In fact, after a series of falls made him blind and limited his mental capacity, he actually began taking part in everything from basketball to bowling to golf for the first time in his life.
Quin’s miraculous story reached a crescendo this past Saturday, when he no doubt inspired countless people worldwide by swishing a 3-pointer as part of Champion Athletes of the Ozarks' halftime exhibition during College of the Ozarks’ contest with Bellevue. A YouTube video of the shot numbered more than 35,000 views as of Monday morning. ESPN has also posted the video on Twitter.
The Keeter Gym crowd's reaction of Quin’s basket was thunderous.
“Whhhooooaaahhhh,” Quin exclaimed when he heard the crowd’s roar and thus knew he made the shot. “I tried my best and had so much fun. It was exciting.”
It was no fluke, either. Earlier in the day, Quin made quite an impression on C of O players during a shoot-around with the Bobcats.
“He was shooting with us and making them,” Bobcats center Nathane Simniok said. "He's amazing."
Quin, of Springfield, was among several participants on hand representing the Springfield-based Champion Athletes, which is designed to enhance the lives of children and adults with disabilities through education, sports competition and new opportunities. Susan Miles, director of Champion Athletes, reported Quin has shown an uncanny ability to be able to judge distances and keep whatever ball he is shooting, rolling, kicking or hitting on a straight line.
“He’s bowled a 130 and can hit the golf ball straight over a lake,” Miles said. “He actually never did many sports before (his accident). But he has an incredible knack for it.”
Quin receives an assist on the hardwood from his Champion Athletes coach, Ryan Saner. Saner stood underneath the basket on Saturday and yelled out instructions to Quin, who stood at the top of the key. Quin’s first attempt hit the front of the rim. But his second shot was nothing but net.
“I listen to my coach, the ‘Lone Ranger,”’ Quin said while referring to Saner by his nickname.
“That shot is what Michael calls, ‘Dialing long distance,” Saner added. “I thought he had a good opportunity. I’ve seen him make that basket a number of times. I hear people talk all the time about how amazing it is that he can be so coordinated and accurate.”
Miles and Saner related as impressive as Quin’s athletic exploits are, they pale in comparison to his demeanor.
“The amazing thing about Michael is not just his athletic ability, but his attitude,” Saner said. “He has an unbelievable outlook on life. He’s incredibly inspiring.”
Quin is quick to smile and enjoys hearing laughter
“Ask me how I am,” he says upon meeting practically everyone. “Why, I’m simply gorgeous, thank you. Don’t worry, be happy, have fun and try your best at everything is what I try to do.”