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'It's unbelievable': Hoops for a Cause benefits Miles City's Kyler Venable

Kyler Venable.png
Posted at 4:00 PM, Aug 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-12 19:28:04-04

BILLINGS — Hoops for a Cause returned for its seventh edition, this time in the Magic City at Montana State Billings.

This year's beneficiary is Kyler Venable, a young man from Miles City who has undergone 18 surgeries and had his right leg amputated at the knee.

“I went through like five or six months of PT," Venable said. "When I didn't have my leg, I just worked on my left leg and worked on it for sports and stuff. Now I have my right leg, so we've been working on getting it ready and running."

A side-by-side accident ultimately led to the amputation, and it’s been a long climb back for the 15 year old. It’s only been about four or five months since Venable got his prosthetic, but he's hoping to return to action before the calendar flips to 2024.

“Right now I'm just lifting and stuff with my football team. Hopefully I'll be able to get on the field by the end of the season. We're just waiting until my knee gets ready, but hopefully I'll be back ready to go for basketball," Venable said.

The event is, after all, a fundraiser for Venable and his family. It’s estimated that donations from the weekend and efforts throughout the year will total nearly $20,000.

“It's been huge. When you look at the players and coaches and the teams that come. They knew what they were supporting," said MSU-Northern women's basketball coach Chris Mouat, as the Frontier Conference comes together to put on the event.

"A lot of teams will play just because it's a 3-on-3, but I think having Kyler associated with it did bring in some teams we wouldn't have had otherwise, so it's really big."

“It's unbelievable. I can't believe how much my fan base is and what everyone has done for me. It's crazy. I don't really have the words," Venable said.

Montana certainly has a special way of rallying around its own.

Donations can be made here.