Student volleyball player with one arm inspires teammates
BRUNSWICK, Ohio (WJW) -- A student-athlete has defied the odds and inspired a community by persevering on the volleyball court despite being born with epilepsy and only one arm.
Brian Haley has never let his physical challenges slow him down and began playing different sports as a way to make friends.
"I thought it was a good thing to get him out there," said Jill Haley, Brian's mother. "So kids get used to your arm."
As a young child, Jill signed Brian up for soccer, football, basketball and even baseball.
Volleyball was also her idea because she knew how much he loved the sport.
"Some is difficult but I got the hang of it," said Brian.
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He tried out for the team but didn't make it his freshman and sophomore year, but that only inspired him to work harder.
The team's director Maria Suboyu says, "It was heartbreaking at first and he kept practicing and practicing."
Brian finally made the team his junior and senior years.
Coach Tom Schuller says he earned the spot and was given no special treatment at his own request.
"He legitimately made the team," said Coach Schuller, "and embodies what athletics is all about: courage, determination and never giving up."
"And I play pretty good for a kid with one arm!" said Brian.