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Josh Speidel returns to Indiana alongside new basketball teammates

INDIANAPOLIS – Josh Speidel returned to his home state Wednesday night.

“I slept a little bit better last night knowing he was just an hour away from me,” Lisa Speidel said, Josh’s mom.

Speidel suffered a traumatic brain injury after a serious car crash in February 2015. The crash instantly sidelined the standout Columbus North basketball star who had already signed with the University of Vermont.

Wednesday night, UVM arrived at Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on the Butler Bulldogs.

“And ladies and gentlemen, a special welcome to Hoosier native Josh Speidel,” the announcer said to loud applause.

The school has honored Speidel’s scholarship. He now cheers on the teams, helps out, attends practice and travels when he can. He’s often working with the team’s trainer during practice, even getting into weight room with the coach.

“I know I say it’s a struggle sometimes,” he said. “But I mean I get to relearn the game of basketball. How bad can life be?”

Friends and family filled the stands Wednesday cheering for him.

“He is still so determined,” his mom Lisa said. “He is so competitive.”

Speidel will spend a few weeks at home in Columbus before returning to UVM for the spring semester.

“God has a plan,” he said. “And I’m just trying to work hard because I don’t know what this end journey’s going to be.”