Danny Smuts

Escondido, CA

University of Missouri

B.A. Secondary Education - Spring 2024

Danny grew up in North San Diego County playing soccer and baseball. His family emphasized

the importance of education as an avenue to building a successful future and he took that to

heart. At the age of 14, the summer before his freshman year of high school, Danny suffered a

spinal stroke at the T7 level during a soccer game. This left him completely paralyzed below the

ribcage. He spent 7 weeks in the hospital and ended up starting high school in a wheelchair

wondering how he would contribute to society in this state. During his sophomore year he was

invited to join the San Diego wheelchair basketball team. He started out a rookie but quickly

advanced his skills. In his 3rd season Danny received an official recruiting visit from the

wheelchair basketball coach at the University of Missouri. An opportunity to play at the college

level and pursue a degree was something he could not turn down so he headed cross country to

pursue his dreams of teaching future generations of students.