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Hearing Aid Heroes: Lance Allred Of The NBA

Lance Allred
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Too often, people view hearing loss as a restriction, barring them from high performance. Yet, with the help of hearing aid technology and a good amount of perseverance, much can be achieved. One fantastic example of this is Lance Allred, the first legally deaf player in the NBA. Allred also has enjoyed success outside of the basketball court.

Hearing Aids And Athletic Ability

Playing basketball requires the ability to communicate quickly with your teammates and coach. You can imagine how difficult that can be when you can’t hear them.

Allred was born legally deaf, with over 75% hearing loss. He was also born into a family which belonged to the Apostolic United Brethren, a reclusive, fundamentalist polygamist sect. It would have been simple for Allred to become isolated due to his circumstances but he rose above them.

From a young age, Allred wore hearing aids. However, he found they interfered with his basketball playing, so he relied on hand signals and body language to communicate with his teammates and coach. Had Allred grown up in this current decade of hearing aid technology, he may have found that there are some hearing aids specifically designed with athletes in mind.

Once Allred’s family left the secluded polygamist group and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, he started to excel at basketball in more public venues. Allred was a star basketball player throughout high school and was recruited by the University of Utah. He began to play on a professional level in 2005 until he was drafted in 2008 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming the first deaf NBA player.

Success Outside Of The Court

High athletic performance isn’t the only way that Allred has found success. Since his retirement from professional basketball playing, Allred has plunged into many other adventures, never allowing his hearing loss to hold him back.

  • Author – Allred has authored three books and is currently writing two more. His second book, Basketball Gods: The Transformation of the Enlightened Jock, has reached #1 in three different categories on Amazon Kindle. His most recent book release relates to his successful TEDx Talk “What is your Polygamy?”.
  • Motivational speaker – Hoping his story can help inspire others to greater levels of perseverance, Allred also works as a motivational speaker. He has spoken at schools, nonprofits, and corporations such as Coca-Cola, Costco, VASA Fitness and more.
  • Sports analyst – Allred stays involved with athletics as he works as a television and radio sports analyst.

People like Lance Allred are great heroes for those who live with hearing loss. Too often, the loss of one’s hearing can seem like there is a cap on what can be accomplished. But with the right hearing aids and a lot of determination, anything is possible.

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