Boy, age 13, born without LEGS wins place on his school’s basketball team – teammates say he’s great at snatching the ball from rivals as they dribble it down the court
- Josiah Johnson, 13, was born without legs, but still made the Moore Middle School basketball team in Louisville, Kentucky
- Johnson could have played in a wheelchair, but he said that would have been too easy and he wanted to prove a point
- The teen’s teammates say he excels at taking the ball away from people, dribbling it down the field and making shots.
A Kentucky teenager turns out to be the secret weapon of his high school basketball team, despite being born without legs.
Josiah Johnson, 13, decided to try out for the basketball team at Moore Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky, in the fall.
He was accepted, on merit, and is now the team’s toast.
“He started taking the ball away from people,” one of his teammates told CBS News.
“He took the ball from me. I was angry.
“You would have thought Steph Curry was at the gym.”
Josiah Johnson, of Louisville, Kentucky, has become a star of his high school basketball team despite being born without legs
The teen has become an unexpected star on the high school basketball team
Johnson could have played in a wheelchair, but said that would have been too easy
Johnson could have played in his wheelchair, but he said that would have been too easy.
“He made the team — we didn’t put him on the team without compassion or anything like that,” one coach said.
“He showed up at every trial, he gave it his all.
“He put himself in the team by making the selection.”
As a child, Johnson participated in gymnastics but said basketball was his love.
His mother, Whitney, said Josiah was confident and stubborn.
“Josiah is very competitive and if he feels like something is too easy, he won’t do it,” she said.
Johnson did gymnastics as a child, but said he loves playing basketball
Johnson has refused to let his disability slow him down: his mother said he was stubborn
Johnson is seen playing on the high school courts in Louisville
The teen’s position on the ground means he’s a natural for grabbing the ball, dribbling and passing.
Opponents find him difficult to beat.
“People feel bad that I play basketball,” he said in an interview with Jefferson County Public Schools.
“I want to show them that you don’t have to feel sorry for me. I want to play with you on an equal level.
He underlined his worth a few weeks ago, at the end of a hard-fought match.
With seconds left, Johnson got the ball from outside the three-point line and scored.
His teammates were ecstatic and piled on Johnson in a wild embrace, captured on camera.
“It was just a moment that I will remember forever,” said a teammate.
Johnson said he hopes other people will be inspired by his dogged determination.
When asked what others should learn from him, he replied, “Doing something they thought they couldn’t do.”