WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – When the Shockers make a three, Matthew Poland celebrates in style.
“I’m just doing towels and water normally, but I’m always doing something to where I can hype the crowd and get them going because I can help the team in any way, ” says Poland.
Shooting arrows with his imaginary bow in front of 10,000 fans best exemplifies Matthew’s personality.
“People are going to look at you a little bit weird sometimes. But you just have to just look at it like, I’m going to do me. I don’t care what other people think about me,” says Poland.
Matthew’s always maintained that mindset, because his whole life he’s lived with cerebral palsy. His right arm is not as strong as his left and he can’t do things as fast as others. But his performance as a shocker student manager would tell you otherwise.
“He just makes it so you don’t even know he has it honestly. He lives his every day life he brings energy, smiling, running around the court shooting with us, ” says Wichita State junior forward Rashard Kelly.
“In his mind, he’s just like anybody else. And in our mind he’s just like anybody else,” says Wichita State assistant coach Greg Heiar.
Spending countless hours around shocker basketball helps fulfill his lifelong dream: becoming a division one coach.
“I’m going to look back at it and be like this is where my career started. This is what jump started the love of my life to become a career. And that’s what motivated me every day to just realize down the road somewhere this loveless thankless job that some people think it is, it really is a great job,” says Poland.
A job which allows him to show off his skills in front of one of the best coaches in America.
“Coach gives him the ball to take shots I mean he’ll make 5,6,7 in a row and in his mind, he’s shooting them from 3 and he’s shooting that bow and arrow off in his head, ” said Heiar.
Matthew notes, “I can shoot the ball. I can shoot the ball as well as anybody.”