No. 11 Jacob Vega drives to the hole and lays in the ball in traffic. This is a pretty normal occurrence in a 13-year old Biddy Basketball game. But what makes this not normal is that Jacob Vega is scoring and assisting with only one arm.
“I can do just about anything you ask me to do,” said Jacob Vega. “Shoot a couple 3’s, get some layups, some jukes, some nice assists.” Jacob was born with his right arm ending just below his elbow, but father and coach David Vega said Jacob has never used this as an excuse not to be great. “He has love for the game and that makes it all that much easier to coach somebody like that,” said David Vega.
Vega said that he got a prosthetic arm for Jacob when he was younger, but Jacob never wanted to wear it. “It ended up in his toy box,” said David Vega. “He has just done it on his own. He has always said he could do it by himself.”
Jacob’s grandfather Craig Vega is among many who are amazed at Jacob’s high level of play. “A lot of parents come back to be afterwards and they say they can’t believe that kid can play basketball,” said Craig Vega. “He’s phenomenal with just one arm. He’s just great.”
Sometimes Jacob plays so well that onlookers forget that he has a handicap. “Sometimes I catch myself; I even say why don’t you use two hands,” said David Vega. Jacob agrees with this sentiment. “My handicap doesn’t affect my play at all,” said Jacob Vega. “The people I play against don’t really notice it. They just treat me normal.”
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