Basketball player returns from the brink of paralysis

WICHITA, Kansas – He’s one of the top scorers in Kansas prep basketball this season.

Averaging over 19 points per game for Circle High School, Dylan Driver has helped the Thunderbirds make massive improvements from a year ago.

“Definitely, I mean he’s a guy who, when he gets on a roll, he can put up points very quickly.”

“I think we got a good shot to make a run in the state tournament, and Dylan’s going to help us out,” said Jake Smith, Circle High School player.

An incredible feat considering his playing days nearly ended.

“It’s incredible, I was even able to move and walk,” said Driver.

Starting his high school career at Andover, Dylan made varsity as a freshman.

He averaged 17 points per game until a devastating concussion changed everything.

The side effects lingered on for months.

“I’d see people walking past me. It just made me feel real dizzy. Like, the world was kind of spinning too fast.”

Dylan’s weight plummeted from 165 to 130 in roughly eight weeks.

After months of therapy, he was cleared to practice with his team at the end of his sophomore year.

Just two weeks after returning, disaster struck again.

“We were working on fast breaks, two on one, I went up to dunk and came down on my shoulders, straight to my neck.”

It ended with an ambulance ride to the hospital.

Dylan wound up breaking the C5 bone in his neck.

Doctors say in many cases it can lead to being paralyzed.

Dylan spent the next three months in bed.

“I had to just wait out the injury.”

After many more months of rehabilitation, Dylan was cleared to return.

Standing tall and healthy and 6 feet 4 inches tall, 175 pounds, he opted for a fresh start and transferred to Circle.

He fought back and got back to how he was.

Dylan’s been named most valuable player in multiple tournaments this year.

He’s also managed to play three games this year with a severe ankle sprain, which now seems trivial.

“It was a lot better than sitting in bed for three months.”

And for others nursing minor injuries on the team.

“I always joke around and say, that’s nothing. I broke my neck. They all just laugh and say, you won, you won the battle.”

Dylan hopes to play basketball at the next level, and he tells KSN, he’s already been contacted by several colleges.

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