” Mighty” Mike Simmel, Founder of the Bounce Out the Stigma Project

” Mighty” Mike Simmel,
Founder of the
Bounce Out the Stigma Project

Mike Simmel Bounce Out the Stigma

Awarded the Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award

Bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky the Title of Kentucky Colonel

Awarded the Prestigious Sweet Water Clifton Award by the NY Knicks 

Recognized as the Jr. NBA Program of the Year

Other Awards & Accolades →

Mike Simmel was almost bounced out of a basketball camp as a 16-year-old. The reason he had a  seizure during camp, and that event became the cornerstone of Bounce Out the Stigma.

He had experienced numerous seizures before that day, but unlike that day he felt ostracized and strangely different, and peers viewed him differently, and a quest to overcome that event was started. Although he would not overcome epilepsy, he lives with the battle through a healthy lifestyle, medical advice on medications.

Mighty” Mike Simmel was a 13-year professional entertainment basketball player of the world-famous Harlem Wizards.  Today, Mike is a top-notch camp clinician, educator, event performer, and motivational speaker, “Mighty” Mike will give all people he comes in contact with a uniquely inspiring and genuinely fun-filled experience.

Mike’s full efforts are devoted to providing a safe environment for kids to enjoy being kids and developing self-confidence. His goal is to educate those with special needs and those seeking to put that community in a sealed vacuum.

How does a kid rise from a special-ed gym class to a professional basketball ball-handling wizard?  Only Mike Simmel can capture his audience’s imagination with the “chills and thrills” of his story. From receiving the prestigious 2009 TOYA Award, as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans to being named a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky in 2014, is just some of the fantastic things that have happened to Mike.

Mike Relates to Kids & Young Adults

As he will tell you in no uncertain terms. . . I have been where these kids are, my youth was filled with doctor visits, changes in medication, and peer mistrust. Being bullied as a young kid to becoming a professional ballplayer is Mike’s story. His story creates our mission to help others facing the challenges Mke did.

Mike has performed at the NCAA Final Four, has been interviewed on numerous television network shows, featured in national magazines and newspapers. He has even performed live at NYC’s Apollo on TV’s “Showtime at the Apollo.” Mike has done over 800 halftime shows throughout the US and spoke at over 300+ schools.

Two Basketball Legends Offer their View

About Mike Simmel

Born in Glendale, CA, Mike developed epilepsy at the age of 2. As his family moved to NJ, he struggled as a youth and was debilitated to the point where he could not participate in “regular” activities. Because of his condition, Mike could not do the simple things other kids could do, like hop on one leg or skip. Young Mike could not eat everyday meals at the dinner table or with sharp eating utensils and even needed to be helped to go to the bathroom for fear that his head would smack downward and he would get hurt due to a violent seizure. He was placed in special education gym class in school because of his slow motor skills and development.  At times he even had to wear a helmet.
Mike outgrew his early “drop attacks” at age 7, and his father gave him a basketball to see if his coordination could develop. It worked, and Mike dreamed big. Years later, at age 16, when he was at a basketball camp, he had an epileptic seizure, his first major grand-mal attack in nearly ten years. The camp administrators attempted unsuccessfully tried to have him removed. That incident would change him forever, as he knew that one day he wanted to give back to other young people who felt as isolated as he did in that situation. Mike continued to have epileptic seizures in high school.  Still, he was a 3-year varsity starter, standout point guard, captain, and graduate of Don Bosco Prep. As a postgraduate student, Mike was the team assist and steals leader at the prestigious Hun School of Princeton.

His bouts with seizures would continue through his college years, which led him down a tough road. He would eventually finish and get his degree at SUNY Purchase. As a 2-year captain, assist and steals leader, Mike fulfilled his first dream, college ball, and a college degree.
At age 24, Mike suffered a near-fatal 108-degree fever and coma condition. He continues to deal with epilepsy throughout his adult life.  Currently, Mike takes 15 pills for his condition, and he is now seizure-free a survivor, and a model picture of healthy living.  Mike’s number 1 mission is to help connect with kids and tell his story to all.

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