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Columbus basketball star continues recovery at home, will participate in high school graduation

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COLUMBUS (June 2, 2015) – A teen basketball star who nearly lost his life in a car crash is now getting ready for his high school graduation. It’s a moment Josh Speidel’s parents didn’t know if they would get the chance to see.

“Very emotional. Sixteen weeks ago, would we have ever thought? We believed, but always wondered. Now we get to have a chance to live that,” said father Dave Speidel.

Josh suffered a serious brain injury after a crash on Sunday, Feb. 1 in Bartholomew County.  Since then, the community has come together to help with medical costs. A crowdfunding page was launched by Josh’s classmate, Keirsten White, and has raised more than $76,000. People have been using #JoshStrong on social media to show their support. The family is raising money for a larger vehicle to transport Josh.

Josh spoke to Nicole Pence for the first time since his injury. He returned home from rehab last Thursday.

“I feel good. It is good to see everyone. The teachers and everyone,” said Josh Speidel.

Speidel’s father took Josh to school last week to walk in the senior parade and ring the school bell.

“We took Josh back on Friday and go through the hallways and see the teachers and talk to the students. You felt the energy. Those kids how much they supported Josh and have been a part of this journey,” said his father.

Saturday, Josh will take part in his graduation at Columbus North High School, right inside the high school gym where he played dozens of games as the Bulldog’s star player.

It’s a memory the Speidel family is thankful to have.

“Very excited. It is going to be a fun time,” said Josh.

“Home feels complete since we are all home,” said Josh’s mother. “There was a time that we thought are we going to make it? I am so happy for Josh. I am so happy that he gets to do this life event. We still have a long road to go, but we are so much further along because people prayed and supported us.”

Josh still needs hours and hours of physical therapy to regain his strength.

The Vermont University commit is focused on his exercises to return to the hardwood.

“Getting back to playing basketball. Hopefully soon,” said Josh.