Jeff Bourns is a former Adapted Touring Amputee Tennis Professional who retired with a World Rank of 4 in his category in 2019. Credited with pioneering organized Adaptive Standing Tennis in the United States, Bourns currently resides in Houston, Texas with his son Parker.
Jeff Bourns was born in Parkersburg, WV in 1981. He was diagnosed at birth with a congenital birth defect to his right leg, missing his tibia bone. As a result, his leg was amputated when he was two years old. When Jeff was 7 years old his family relocated to Houston, Texas. Shortly after the move his leg was amputated once again, above the knee. A year later the family discovered Jeff had tethered spinal cord syndrome. A tumor attached to his spinal cord pulling down while he was trying to grow with age. At the time having the tumor removed was a very risky procedure to have done and Jeff was to be left with permanent neurological deficiencies as a result. The surgery was a success, however, Jeff developed spinal meningitis while recovering at his home. After fighting and surviving meningitis he led a very active life with little to no medical issues.
Learning About Adaptive Sports
Jeff was continually engaged in sports and other active outdoor activities with his brothers, friends, mother and father. He played sports, went mountain biking, climbed trees, and enjoyed being as active as possible. At the same time, Jeff grew up in an era where organized Adaptive Sports for amputees were limited and not widely known.
After graduating High School he learned about organized Adaptive Sports for the first time. While attending college he competed in the 2001 Endeavor Games where for the first time in his life he met amputee peers his age he could relate with. For him this new found fellowship was a life changing experience, inspiring Jeff years later to begin mentoring and networking amputee youth, young adults, and their families together. These life experiences have given Jeff unique and invaluable knowledge and perspectives that he uses to this day.
In the future, Jeff Bourns hopes to continue his efforts in breaking down barriers for the next generation. He aims to make opportunities available for others that were not available to him while he was growing up, enabling others to dream BIG!
“Sport has a unique way of bringing people together. Tennis, as in life, is a game of adjustments. We all adapt to it differently, disability or not! Tennis is for Everyone”! – Jeff Bourns