16-Year-Old Amputee Plays on Varsity Basketball Team

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A 16-year-old varsity basketball player isn’t letting her prosthetic leg stop her from hitting shots during games. 

Amanda Merrell, a sophomore in Maryland, had to have her leg amputated when she was a child due to a potentially fatal form of cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma. She hasn’t let that put a damper on her life, however.

“I can’t believe that she can do the things that she does,” Jennifer Shoup, Merrell’s basketball coach, told CBS News. “She has a 'never quit, never give up' attitude.”

Amanda doesn’t remember life when she had two legs and she works with what she has. The teen said she’s often the first one down the court during games. 

She does have to alter some techniques, like the way she shoots and runs, she said.

“When I shoot, like normally people will bend both of their knees. For me, I kind of just step out and shoot,” Amanda said. "I don't really think like, 'Oh I would do better if I had two legs.' I just have this and I try to do the best I can.”

Her parents said she’s always been determined to do things just like other. She could never climb up the slide with one leg as a kid, but as soon as she received her first prosthetic she was able to. 

"Who cares if you're different? You can still do stuff that anyone else can do and you shouldn't let one thing determine who you are," Amanda said.


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