“A lot farther than I was,” Josh Speidel talks rehab, basketball, and coaching


Vermont’s Josh Speidel sits on the bench while the Catamounts practice in Hartford, CT for the NCAA Tournament (WXIN March 20, 2019).

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HARTFORD, Conn. – More than four years have passed since Josh Speidel’s near fatal car accident his senior year at Columbus North. Ever since, his recovery has seen great milestones, from wheeling out of Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana to participating in his high school graduation and joining his collegiate team, Vermont, on the bench

“Physical progress is great,” says Speidel, in Hartford with Vermont at the NCAA Tournament. “That’s through running, shooting, layups.

“Personally, I think I’m ready to go out there and play, but I know obviously I got a while to go.”

“You never want to tell anyone what they can’t do, especially him,” adds Vermont head coach John Becker. “(We are) finding that balance to make sure we’re being honest and realistic but making sure he continues to push and get better.”

While Josh continues to push himself physically, keeping his basketball mind sharp is also a primary focus. He’s picked up a minor in coaching at Vermont.

“Just talking to the coaches,” he says, “hearing some of their game plans, and how they implement their strategies and styles of coaching (is my focus).”

“He’s gonna give back, I know, when he’s done here,” says Becker, “work with kids and each them how to play basketball, which is something he’s really good at.”

Josh says he and his family have felt an incredible amount of support over the four years since his injury.

“I’ve got to say thank you to all the people who’ve prayed and all the people that’ve given me encouragement,” says Speidel. “It means more to me and my parents and family than you can imagine.”

Vermont is a 13-seed in the West region and will face 4-seed Florida State at 1:50 p.m. Thursday.

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