After an Accident Left Him Paralyzed, Former Florida Basketball Player Patric Young Says His "Story Is Just Beginning"

On June 29, 2022, Patric's life took a turn that neither he nor anyone else could have anticipated.


Apr. 11 2024, Published 11:35 a.m. ET

Patric Young during a game between Alabama and Florida.
Source: Getty Images

While not every college star finds a way to make the jump to the next level, many find a way to keep their playing careers going by joining other leagues either in the U.S. or somewhere else in the world. Patric Young, who played college basketball for the University of Florida, was exactly that type of player.

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But on June 29, 2022, his life took a turn that neither he nor anyone else could have anticipated. Patric's life story has plenty of tragedy, but what may be most remarkable about it is what he's turned his struggles into.

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What happened to Patric Young?

On June 29, 2022, Patric was in a car accident in rural Nebraska that caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. Patric lost control of his truck, causing it to flip, and leaving him crushed inside the vehicle. He had to undergo eight hours of surgery, and his T7 and T8 vertebrae were dislocated. While Patric currently uses a wheelchair, he has insisted that he plans to walk again.

At the same time, Patric has gained a healthy perspective on his own life, and the place that his accident has in it.

“There’s no part of me angry at God because I see things through a bigger picture now,” he told The Gainesville Sun in 2023. “This story is just beginning.”

In addition to his devotion to physical therapy, Patric has also spent time working as a motivational speaker in and around Florida.

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Just 10 days after his accident, Patric got married to his on-again, off-again partner Whitney Abbott. The two exchanged their vows in the hospital courtyard as Patric was recovering from surgery. The couple had apparently initially planned on a big wedding, but wanted to get married more than they cared about the circumstances.

Patric also started a foundation to raise money for those who have had spinal cord injuries.

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Patric works for the SEC Network.

Patric also works as a commentator for the SEC Network, and it's clear that between his speaking engagements, his foundation, and his day job, he's busier than ever.

What's also clear, though, is that Patric has not let his accident slow him down in the slightest. He's as motivated as ever, and he wants to pass on what the challenges life has thrown his way have taught him.

“Everything that’s hard in life is not bad. And everything that presents itself as easy is not good," he explained. “We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control the way we handle them.”

Patric has been an inspiration to those around him, and he's still determined to walk again someday. But he's already proven that he's as resilient as a person can be. He may no longer be a star on the court, but he's become even more inspirational following the end of his playing career.

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