Adaptive Athletics a Draw for Talented Student Athlete and Donors

Adaptive Athletic student in his wheelchair with basketball.

When looking at colleges, Jackson Atwood had plenty of reasons to choose Eastern. When you get to know this talented wheelchair basketball player, you will have 30,000 reasons to support EWU Adaptive Athletics.  

Reason #1 – Meet Jackson Atwood: His parents are EWU alumni and his grandfather, Robert, was a professor here. Atwood earned Running Start credits through Eastern – and the university’s Master of Occupational Therapy Program aligns with his goal of working as a pediatric OT. 

Still, Atwood, a gifted parasports athlete, says what ultimately sealed the deal for enrolling at Eastern was the opportunity to play for David Evjen on the EWU Wheelchair Basketball Team. 

“Coach David is an excellent coach. He is well balanced and performance-based,” Atwood says. 

The outgoing freshman, born with a proximal femoral focal deficiency that led to the amputation of his left foot, lives in Pearce Hall and zips around campus on a kick scooter. With a resume that includes solid academics, volunteer experience and a history of winning gold in world parasports track competitions, Atwood is a role model for students of all abilities. 

His accomplishments garnered a prestigious Heisman High School Scholarship, awarded nationally, and Eastern’s own H.D. Morris Memorial Scholarship. The Spokane Valley native is grateful for the financial support and plans to work as a school-based OT helping children with special needs thrive. 

As of today, the 18-year-old maintains a full course load with practices and games, checking out campus events, meeting up with friends at the PUB and helping new teammates get familiar with the campus. 

“I really like the people, and the culture here is pretty nice,” Atwood says. 

Reason #2 – Every dollar you give to EWU Adaptive Athletics is matched: Mike Mumford, ’81 alumnus who serves on the EWU Foundation Board of Directors, has generously challenged Eagle Nation to match his $30,000 gift, making donors’ gifts go twice as far! 

“The main reason I support Eastern’s Adaptive Athletics Program is because my stepson’s daughter was born with spina bifida, and she is an athlete,” says Mumford. 

Mumford describes 6-year-old Rowan as “a little spitfire.” She plays organized basketball and hockey, and she’s in a dance troupe. “She’s competitive and active,” he says. Mumford attributes Rowan’s active lifestyle to her parents’ insistence that she participate fully in life and their commitment to adapt things to make that participation possible.  

Mumford knows that donor support will make adaptive athletics participation possible for more EWU students, like his granddaughter and Atwood. “I want the match to motivate others to give,” Mumford said. “The program needs the money, and it supports mostly local kids in a rare program.” 

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