SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego resident Jon Mowl was born without hearing, in fact, he is fourth generation deaf. But he hasn't let that stop him from dominating on the basketball court, although he says he often had to prove himself because he was deaf.
"Sometimes it could be difficult to go into a new gym. Someone might say, 'He is deaf I don't want to play with him.' They wouldn't pick me on a team until they saw me play. Then it was, 'He can play, OK you can play with us.' "
And boy can he play. Jon was a star on his high school team and then he went on the play college basketball at Gallaudet University.
"You know it's basketball, you run, you shoot, you pass, play defense, and rebound. That doesn't require any hearing skills for that."
He has excelled so much on the court he was recently selected to play for team U.S.A at the Deaflympics in Brazil.
"It is a great privilege for me to represent our country and my community. It's a special opportunity for me to play against the best deaf basketball players in the world."
The first Deaflympics were held in Paris in 1924 and like the Summer and Winter Olympics, they are held every four years. However, unlike those games, deaf athletes do not receive government funding, which leaves a big expense for the athletes.
"In other countries for example, deaf athletes do get contributions from their government, a medal, and award money. Here in the U.S.A, we just get a pat on the back that's really it.'
Jon is looking to raise $4,500 to get to the games. As for the team, he thinks they will be very good.
"We are definitely going to win gold there is no question."