My Name Is

My Name Is: Juliane Cunningham

Colorado Connections Academy student and Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets player

About me
I’m 13 years old and was born in Nebraska, but my family moved us to Colorado when I was three months old. I’ve lived in Wheat Ridge for three years, but we lived in Lakewood before that.
I have muscular dystrophy, and while I can feel my legs, I can’t physically walk.

School life
I go to school at Colorado Connections Academy, which is a great school for me because it gives me the chance to make time to do what I love, which is play basketball. Since the school is online, it’s more flexible, but it’s still a lot of work. Right now I’m taking language arts, education technology, arts, skills for success, social studies, science and math, which is my favorite subject.

Competing with friends
I’ve been playing basketball ball since I was 5 years old. My whole family is athletic, and I was looking for a sport I could play with my disability.
I play with the Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets, which is one of the best adaptive teams in the country. We have practice once a week with our coaches Justin and Seth, which are really fun, and usually have some kind of tournament once a month. There are no set positions in wheelchair basketball, but I often play a kind of point guard position.
Everyone on the team is really nice, and we all understand what each other is going through.
We’ve had the chance to do a lot of traveling to tournaments like Minnesota, Arizona, San Diego, and nationals are in Kentucky this April. I love all the travel. We’re all really good friends with all the other teams we meet during the tournaments.
My favorite part of playing is having all my friends on the team, including my older brother. There’s a lot of teamwork going on, and they are like my family.

Looking to the future
I’m excited about playing in nationals, and I want to keep playing with this team through high school. I hope to get a scholarship for college, and play in the Paralympics someday. I want to play basketball forever.

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