Julie (Leary) Nadeau was just 19 when she was involved in a single-car crash on the Whitehall side of Homestake Pass just after Thanksgiving in 1989. The accident left Julie paralyzed from the chest down. She can only move her right arm.

The accident was devastating to Julie, who just two years earlier led Butte Central past Butte High in a classic girls’ basketball game at the Butte Civic Center.

The wreck changed Julie’s life forever, making every day a difficult one. Julie, though, could not be stopped. She went back to college and earned a degree from Montana Tech. She has worked in the Butte Central Foundation office for the past 20 years, and she raised a son. She also learned how to drive again.

Now a grandma, Julie serves as an inspiration to anyone who will play attention. Julie doesn’t make excuses. She just gets things done.

That is not surprising to those who knew Julie as the hard-nosed basketball player she was in her days at Butte Central.

She was a 5-foot-8 post player who coaches say played like she was 6-2. She was also the hardest working player on the floor.

As a junior, Julie scored 35 points and pulled down 19 rebounds in a win over Stevensville at Montana Tech. That was a BC school record against a Class A opponent. Brooke Badovinac tied that mark last season.

I wrote a very long story about Julie for Butte Sports in December of 2020. I will have a link to that story in the show notes.

This past summer, Julie was inducted into the Butte Sports Hall of Fame. Hours after receiving her Green Jacket, however, she tested positive for COVID-19. So, she had to miss the banquet and her induction interview.

I was hoping this podcast might help make up for that.

Click here to listen in as we get to know Julie (Leary) Nadeau.