Minden native plays pickleball to battle Parkinson’s

Published: Jul. 16, 2022 at 6:03 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -The 2022 Cornhusker State Games are in full swing. The Pickleball tournament kicked off Saturday morning down at the Woods Tennis Center.

For Minden native Buck Wood, Pickleball is both a fun pastime and his medication. A middle school math teacher by day, and a Pickleball player by night, Buck does it all and he does it while battling Parkinson’s disease.

Buck was diagnosed 10 years ago and at the time was a constant volleyball player. When Parkinson’s made it hard to continue volleyball, five years later a new game came along.

“Pickleball is medicine for me because it’s a time a can escape from Parkinson’s and I can just be a normal player,” said Buck.

Buck isn’t alone in his love for Pickleball, he plays along with his younger brother Kevin. That’s where the slogan on their shirt, go hard or go home, comes from.

“He coaches wrestling at North Platte Saint Pat’s and his team shirt is this ‘go hard or go home’,” Buck said. “We try to play hard all the time, we like competition.”

“He’s my older brother by quite a bit, quite a bit and I enjoyed playing with him when I was little, my kids enjoyed playing with him when they were little and he’s just fun, playing with Buck or uncle Buck is just the best thing,” Kevin said.

When Buck plays Pickleball, he plays up to seven hours most days.

“I like to exercise and the doctor says it’s good for me so I said do I need to play more Pickleball and he said yes, so I said fantastic, write me a prescription,” Buck said.

In the words of the Pickleball community of Nebraska, Buck is an inspiration to all that know him.

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