CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - Meet Alex Grazia, a 14-year-old basketball player who embodies the true spirit of determination and resilience. His dream, like many young hoop enthusiasts, is to one day make it to the Miami Heat and the NBA. However, for Alex, the court itself is a blessing, and his journey is nothing short of inspiring.
“I’ve always wanted to play basketball because I just — it’s an inspiration for me to watch NBA players play,” said Alex. “I just wanted to be like them.”
What sets Alex apart is the stroke he experienced shortly after birth, leaving him hemiplegic, with limited mobility on one side of his body. But rather than letting this condition hinder his dreams, he’s discovered a talent for sinking long shots, much like his idol, Stephen Curry.
“It was 7th grade when I realized I can make these shots and I can play good ball, so I was like, ‘You know what, I’ll try out for the middle school basketball team.’ I made it and I ended up making a lot of shots on that team and playing,” said the high school freshman.
Despite his physical limitations, Alex doesn’t just show up for his Coral Springs recreational basketball team; he shows out, earning the respect of teammates and opponents alike.
“Alex is just the heart of the team,” said teammate Devon Sousa. “No doubt. That kid hustles like no other. It’s kind of hard to trash talk someone who, when they come on the court, outplays you.”
For Coach Bob Tacher, it was clear that Alex’s indomitable spirit and work ethic made him an invaluable addition to the team, even with just one functional arm.
“The first time I saw him get on the court, I kind of had to look twice,” said Tacher. “As you can see, he only has one functional arm. I didn’t realize he really can’t run either, but the more I saw him trying out and how hard he was working, I really decided right then and there that I wanted him on our team.”
Alex’s father, Hector, just wanted to give his son an opportunity to pursue his passion, and it’s paid off in more ways than one.
“Coming in here was a big concern for me because at first I didn’t know how he was going to take it,” he said. “He proved himself, got some respect from his friends and teammates, and now they treat him like nothing is wrong with him.”
On the court, Alex’s disabilities fade into the background, and his confidence shines through. His message to others facing challenges is simple yet powerful: “Follow your dreams, do what you want. Even if you have a disability, it’s not stopping you from playing the game and doing what you want.”
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