Earlier this year, Mix 102.3’s Jodie & Soda met 12-year-old Cooper who had just made the incredible, life-changing decision to amputate his leg so that he could get back to doing what he love, playing basketball.
Jodie & Soda followed Cooper throughout the year and helped make his dream come true with Cooper’s All Stars v Adelaide 36ers.
Cooper was born with fibula hemimelia, a condition that for him meant the complete absence of the fibula bone in his left leg and when surgery to correct the condition ultimately proved unsuccessful, Cooper and his family were left with a choice: either undertake more invasive surgery that had no guarantee of success or amputate his leg.
Cooper joined Jodie & Soda in the studio to give an update on his recovery as with a new leg and a new lease on life, he continues to plough through his rehabilitation with the typical vigour with which he approaches life.
It was then that Jodie & Soda surprised Cooper with their great idea, to host an All-Star game against the Adelaide 36ers at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Cooper chose his team and close to 5,000 people watched him make his emotional comeback to the basketball court.
Jodie and Soda hosted the night with official MC and Basketball commentator of the night John Casey, Sports Commentator for Seven Network.
Final score of the match – Cooper’s All Stars: 91 v Adelaide 36ers: 89
Of the event, Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom said, “It was wonderful to see so many people together again in what’s been a bizarre year. A huge thank you to everyone who opened their hearts to Cooper. He is just an out and out inspiration for all of us.”
“There are so many people that made this dream happen for Cooper, it couldn’t have happened without everyone opening their hearts to this incredible little kid,” Jodie Oddy added.
List of players in the Cooper’s All Star’s Team
- Coach: Phil Smyth (former basketball player and 3 x winning head coach of the Adelaide 36ers, 4 x Olympian with the Australian National Basketball team)
- Cooper (Captain)
- Dean Brogan (former Port Adelaide AFL Premiership player & Adelaide 36ers NBL Championship player)
- Rachael Sporn (two-time WNBL MVP & three-time Olympic medallist)
- Erin Phillips (two-time AFLW Premiership player, two-time WNBA championship player, Olympic medallist)
- Tracy Gahan (WNBL championship player)
- Sam Jacobs (three-time Showdown medallist for Adelaide Crows)
- Kevin Brooks (two-time NBL championship player, 1998 NBL MVP)
- Jed Altschwager (seeking to qualify for Tokyo Paralympics, Cooper’s mentor)
- Brett Maher (two-time NBL MVP, three-time NBL championship player)
- Tom Rockliff (All-Australian AFL player, plays for Port Adelaide)