Jorge Sanchez was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in his left femur at just 8 years old. After spending over a year going through chemotherapy, a below the knee amputation, and more chemotherapy before he decided to amputate his leg above the knee for a decreased chance the cancer would come back. Due to complications from the amputation, he was in a coma for 3 months and after waking up continued having surgeries and chemotherapy until finally entering remission. His treatment process included 22 surgeries, chemotherapy, and multiple Blood transfusions. Though he grew up playing baseball, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball at the age of 14 and he stuck with it. After winning National championship for his high school, he went on to compete for the University of Texas at Arlington on a full ride and joined the US Paralympic team in 2013. With team USA he has earned 3 gold and 1 silver medal and is aiming for another gold in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics.
Away from basketball:
Off the court Sanchez stays active through training, hiking, and getting outdoors. He loves spending time travelling and relaxing with his fiancé, Cristal Diaz. Due to COVID-19 their wedding celebrations were postponed, but they are looking forward to finally tying the knot soon.
In his own words:
“This has been my goal since I first started, but I didn’t really think I would get there. I was overweight and never really took basketball too seriously, until my third year of college. My coach had a serious talk with me, and I thank him a lot for making me realize my potential.”
“Sometimes you get lazy and you don’t have that motivation but being around these guys here it’s impossible to be lazy. They push me to the max and they expect greatness out of me and that’s what I want to give them.”
Team USA Page
Make a Champ: “Join me in my Journey to a Gold Medal in Rio”
Team USA: “A National Team Newbie, Wheelchair Basketball Player Jorge Sanchez Competes With Heroes and Mentors at Worlds”
- Sport: Basketball
- Limb Difference:
- DOB: 10/3/91
- Residence: Oakland, CA
- College: U. of Texas at Arlington
- Previous Games: 2018
- Classification: 4