Anybody who has ever tried to sink a half-court basketball shot knows it isn't easy. Now imagine trying to do it without using your arms.
Tenth grade athlete Ryan Leonard, who was born without any arms, has learned to improvise when he plays his favorite sports. But when he managed to sink a 3-point basket from half-court, his friends couldn't believe their eyes.
The North Carolina teen dribbles the basketball with his legs, like a hacky-sack, and then uses his knee to make the shot. And luckily a friend happened to be recording the moment on his cellphone.
Leonard is also a star-athlete in soccer, football and wrestling. In an article about him last year, he tells MyRandolphSports.com about his wrestling moves, “I get down into the position and then... I wrap my legs around theirs and trip them.”
He says his favourite sport is football, where he plays defensive end and linebacker, saying, "I enjoy knocking people down." “We do a lot of conditioning, which I also enjoy.” And he's got a competitive spirit, saying,“My goals are to win championships.”
His mom Kyna says, "Ryan doesn’t let anyone bother him." "He has a lot of confidence. He doesn’t want or expect anyone to do anything out of the ordinary for him."
He was featured in a photo essay for Greensboro, North Carolina's News Record last year, and can be seen using his feet to hold a pencil in class, surf the Internet, throwing and catching a Frisbee.
Leonard also has some final advice for others, "Don’t ever let anyone make fun of you. They are sometimes jealous of who you are."