Alan Shepherd of Jarrell, Texas has only been playing pool for a little over a year, but he’s worked his way up to a skill level 5. He’s competing in the 8-Ball Classic Red Tier and feels very fortunate to have qualified for a national event so early in his pool career. In addition to being a new poolplayer, Alan has also dealt with the adversity of being confined to a wheelchair, but he accepts it with great ambition. He loves a challenge.

“I was thinking about playing in the Wheelchair Challenge event, but wanted to challenge myself and continue playing with ‘able-bodied’ individuals,” Shepherd said. “I love this game, I learn I can do something new every day.”

Alan’s mother inspired him to start playing pool. She had been playing in the APA for a couple of years and convinced him to start coming around when she was playing. He started playing the next session so the two of them had something they could do together.

“I like the APA because I can compete with other individuals on the same level who aren’t in wheelchairs,” Shepherd said.  “I also like all the people you meet in the APA; I have so many friends who are a lot like family now, just from playing over the last year in the APA.”

He’s most looking forward to seeing the large room full of pool tables! In addition, seeing the level of competition and gaining the experience of playing in a national event are also at the top of his list.

“I feel as though I can compete at a high level and would feel accomplished if I made it to the second day of competition,” Shepherd said. “Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make it to Saturday, win, and I feel that I could if I play my best, but I’m not that greedy in my expectations and welcome the unexpected jubilation if I do make it that far.”

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