13-year-old boy without hands determined to make hoop dreams come true


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BOCA RATON, Fla. — Every week he set himself up for disappointment.

Every week Jamarion Styles came to a community center in Boca Raton, Florida, hoping to play basketball with the other kids.

And every week, he was rejected.

“They would start picking teams and I would be the only one left out. And then they would tell me just go home. You can break someone’s heart like that.”

The problem was obvious – to everyone but Jamarion. He lost his hands – and most of his arms – as an infant due to a rare bacterial infection. But he insists that is no reason to give up his hoop dreams.

“People underestimate me just because I don’t have hands. ... You would think that I’d be good at soccer. I’m really not. I’m horrible.”

Which is why – on the first day of class here at Eagles Landing Middle School, Jamarion took his case to basketball coach Darian Williams and said he wanted to be on the team this year.

“I said, ‘Ok, great, just make sure you try out." Williams said.

But Williams told CBS he was really thinking, "This man has no arms. How is he going to play basketball? But man, he told me, ‘Mr. Williams, I’ve never been on a team before.  Even if I don’t play, I just want to be on the team.’ And how could I say no to that?”

And that’s how the Eagles got their first armless basketball player.

Jamarion -- number 2 there -- quickly earned a reputation as the hardest worker on the squad.

“He was usually the first one in the gym and usually the last one to leave,” Williams said.

Still, he sat on the bench most of the season. Until last month – during the last game of the regular season.

“For anybody who was in the gym that night, it was amazing,” Williams said.

Coach put him in the game with about six minutes left. And when he eventually got the ball on the far side of court, everyone yelled, “Shoot it.” So he did -- and sank a 3-pointer.

And if you didn’t quite see that, don’t worry, because shortly after, he got the ball again, this time on the near side for another 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Jamarion Styles, the kid no one would pick, was now everyone’s hero.

Needless to say, today Jamarion can play all he wants at the community center. He just made the volleyball team and has every intention of playing football next year.

Really, the only thing he won’t play – is the victim.

“If I could wave a magic wand right now and give you your arms back, would you want them?" CBS asked Jamarion.

But Jamarion is satisfied with the way he is: "I don’t need them."


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