Utah Wheelin' Jazz players compete at 3-on-3 tourney

By Randall Wade

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Aug. 27 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

"Well, that's true we are all paralyzed," he dead panned. "But we've got some injuries other than being paralyzed. Tyler just wrapped his RZR (four-wheeler) around a tree two days ago. And then, Layne, he hurt his shoulder. Doing what, I don't know. And then just yesterday, I was lifting weights and probably did too much and pulled my back muscle to where every time I move a certain way, it just takes the breath away from me. So, it'll be interesting to see how we play."

Griffin patiently answers my questions while he sits at the edge of his fold-out camper bed, legs dangling towards the floor. He grabs one leg and plops it onto the mattress.

"Can you move your legs at all without the help of your hands?" I ask.

"Uh, my feet nothing. I'm a killer at the 'hokey pokey,'" he says dryly while shaking it all about to demonstrate the lack of control and motion in his foot. "But no, I can't move my feet yet, but my legs I can move. I'll kick you if I need to, but I try not to."

He lifts his other leg into his bed for the night and stretches out. He barely fits. We chat a little bit more before saying good night.

"Gonna say my prayers and go to bed," he announces, like Walter Cronkite signing off for the night. "And, uh, we'll see you guys tomorrow."

With that, he turns over onto his stomach, brings each leg up and underneath him in a kneeling position, puts his elbows on the bed, clasps his hands together and bows his head.

I would like to know what's being said between Jeff and his God.

What would I say to him if I were Griffin at this point?

Would it still be a negotiating session? Would anger and rage still encroach on the conversation? Are there deals being proposed? Would I still ask 'Why me, God?'

Or would it be more along the lines of simple thanks for being alive and gratitude for family? How does his faith help him overcome insurmountable odds on a daily and yearly basis? Especially now that those days and years now total more than one-and-a-half decades.

Randall is the founder of the digital media site www.justdontquit.com which motivates people to chase their dreams through Sports & Entertainment storytelling on Digital, Social & Mainstream Media platforms; in English and Spanish.

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