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Off To College: Piedmont's Colin Cutter earns scholarship to Missouri

Cutter's dream came true earlier this year when he signed with Missouri to play wheelchair basketball.
By Robert Przybylo, Staff Writer, Modified: July 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm •  Published: July 24, 2010

He hasn't stopped since.

He has proved to be a world-class athlete in both basketball and track and field, excelling at both the national and international levels in both, and his dream of playing at the college level became closer to reality with each passing year.

There are only seven Division I wheelchair basketball programs in the nation, and Cutter applied and was accepted to five of them.

In the end, it came down to Missouri and Penn State. Both offered full-ride scholarships. The Tigers are one of those seven wheelchair basketball teams, while the Nittany Lions have made their name for having a great wheelchair track and field team. They are, however, not a Division I basketball program.

"It was so tough. I talked to everybody — my family, teachers, counselors — everybody," Cutter said. "It was a three-month long process, but I'm happy with my choice."

One of the things that swayed his decision was the leadership of the Missouri program. The Tigers are coached by Ron Lykins, arguably the most famous wheelchair basketball coach in the nation.

"You could compare him to Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski of Duke)," Cutter said.

The distance away from home wasn't an issue. For Cutter who has traveled so much for events, that wasn't a factor.

However, having a good sports psychology program was, since that's what Cutter intends to study.

Cutter said he feels blessed to know exactly what he wants to do. He would love to coach when he gets older and maybe even try to start his own wheelchair basketball school.

"There are only seven big programs. I would love to be able to start my own. There are no schools out west. Who wouldn't want to live in California?" he said.

For now, those dreams are on hold as Cutter still has some athletic goals to accomplish. And nobody is about to underestimate him now.

"When it comes to his heart and attitude and determination, you can't beat Colin," Scott said. "He inspires me every day."