K-State student makes positive comeback after tragedy strikes

The K-State men's basketball team plays against Baylor in Bramlage Coliseum on Mar. 3, 2018. The Wildcats defeated the Bears 77-67. (Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

Kolton Kincaid never saw himself furthering his education after high school. The now 21-year-old junior at Kansas State University also didn’t see himself being an athlete involved with Midwest Adaptive Sports.

Rewind about four years prior, during Kincaid’s junior year of high school, working on the farm with two other high school boys.

Working on the farm was what Kincaid said were his plans for after high school, as he was not looking into college options. However, “God had other plans,” he said.

As the three boys were working on fixing fence, Kincaid’s girlfriend, Abby Austin, said Kincaid was “crushed by a skid steer.”

All function in both of his legs was lost due to the accident.

About a year after the accident, Kincaid was sought out by Matt Bollig, who is involved with MAS — specifically the Kansas City Predators wheelchair basketball team.

MAS is an organization that focuses on impacting the lives of individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional or behavioral challenges. They offer various recreational and competitive sports outreaches, according to their website.

“After a while of reaching out to him, I got him to come out to one of our events,” Bollig said.

Because of that initial connection, Kincaid said he has been exposed to much more than he ever thought possible.

Kincaid just finished his first season with the Predators basketball team; they tied for 11th place in the D1 division at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.

The NWBA has certain criteria that individuals must fit into to play on a nationally recognized team.

Kincaid said disabilities vary throughout the Predators. For example, seven have spinal cord injuries, one individual was born with club foot and has no ankle flex, while another is an amputee.

Upon describing the game of wheelchair basketball, Kincaid said, “it’s just like normal basketball, just a whole lot more bangin’ around.”

Austin attested to this, as she said, “You wouldn’t think it’s as fast-paced, but if anything, it’s more intense than able-bodied basketball.”

In addition to basketball, Kincaid has been able to go skiing with several friends, play rugby, works with younger kids through MAS and is on a softball team.

The family aspect he has found through the organization is what Kincaid said he is most thankful for.

“When that gets taken away from you, you don’t realize how much you missed it until you have it back,” Kincaid said.

When he’s able to make it to Kansas City for a practice, Kincaid also said he enjoys working with the youngsters.

“When you put the kids in a sports chair, it’s like they’re a whole new person,” Kincaid said.

Bollig describes Kincaid as “very competitive” and a “glass half-full kind of guy.”

Austin said she has known Kincaid for about six years and he continues to show her the bright side of situations and not to dwell on the small things.

Kincaid is currently pursuing a degree in human resources with an emphasis in training and development. He said he wants to help people excel at their job and enjoy them more.

Many doors have been opened in the years since his accident, and Kincaid said he has learned so much within the past few years. Kincaid said this disability is “not something I wake up sour about every morning.”