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Before Tennis (A real story touched by and touching Louisiana) - Thursday, April 21, 2011
Keith Concar
 
Keith Concar has the good looks of a movie star. He is also quite an athlete,
playing top level amateur wheelchair tennis events around the country. I got to know Keith
when he was here in Baton Rouge recently for an international tennis tournament, the Cajun Classic.

My admiration and respect for Keith grew as he told me that he had come down to
New Orleans after hurricane Katrina with his church group. They came to help rebuild houses and the city.
He liked the work so much that he stayed after his group left to continue rebuilding.

As a New Orleans native, I cannot help but love anyone who would give so much of themselves for our community. I was an instant fan!

While he was here for the tournament, I tried to stay each day to watch his matches, cheer him on and support his efforts. In one of his doubles matches , he and his partner were down, so I cheered hard and loud.
I think it helped, they fought back and won the match to play the next day.

I had assumed Keith had always been wheelchair bound, unable to use his legs. The fact that someone who is not fully ambulatory would come down to a disaster area and do construction work, I found to be a bit odd and amazing. In a subsequent conversation during the weekend, Keith mentioned his motorcycle. I don't know if I had a puzzled look on my face, but I definitely had a puzzled thought in my mind. He explained that one morning while riding his motorcycle to a job site, someone backed out of their driveway, right into his path. The accident paralyzed his legs.

Keith had had the full use of all his faculties until this fateful day, in a sparsely populated, post-Katrina New Orleans. Hospitalized for an extended period, all those who he was trying to help rallied around him.
It never occurred to me that someone who came to give so much, had so much taken from him.

Keith explained to me that as part of his rehab, wheelchair tennis was suggested to him. He had never played tennis but reluctantly gave it a try. The first good forehand he hit, hooked him on the sport and from what I have seen of his game, he has real talent and potential. In fact, Keith is so hooked on tennis, he runs a wheelchair tournament of his own in San Diego.

To learn more about Keith Concar and how you can help:
www.KcWalk.com

By William Greiner

For more information visit: HTTP://www.kcwalk.com

 

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