Pincho Ortega, MVP of the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, has been awarded a scholarship by the Universia Foundation to play basketball in the US
When Ignacio Ortega was born – little more than 17 years ago – his parents didn’t consider the possibility of having a son with double agenesis of the lower limbs: “I was basically born without legs, it was a shock for my family”, Ortega tells us. How could they imagine that Pincho, as his father lovingly named him, would become one of Spain’s most promising young players in adapted sports?
Recently selected as MVP of the Under-22 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships held in Italy, Pincho is one of the best adapted basketball players in Europe and a great promise for the sport at an international level. “Winning the Bronze Medal was a surprise as Spain had gone many years without getting to the podium”, Ortega said.
The 17-year-old star of CD Ilunión has been awarded a scholarship to continue his training and the development of his professional career at the prestigious University of Alabama, returning to the country, where he had the opportunity to study several years ago, and which he had been wanting to return to.
Behind this scholarship, which will without a doubt allow Pincho to develop his skills and capabilities, is The Universia Foundation, which has focused for years on university students with disabilities, collaborating with them to inspire their independence and their inclusion in the workplace. It was more specifically through the First Call of Sports Scholarships for Disabled Students as in the case of the young Ignacio Ortega that he was recognized and which has provided the opportunity to elevate his athletic aspirations.
In a session based on inclusion and learning, the Universia Foundation, founded by Santander Bank, also awarded the young man with a check, the starting gun of a journey towards a new stage full of successes -personal and athletic. Furthermore, it highlights the significant role that basketball has had in the history of overcoming adversity.