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Manitoba teen with one hand is mastering the game of basketball


At 15 years old, if Kieran Dalkie isn't playing basketball, he's watching it and drawing inspiration from his favourite NBA stars to try and implement their moves into his game.

Mastering those basketball skills might take a little more work and creativity than it does for his peers, as he has to do everything with one hand. However, Dalkie never lets adversity get in the way of playing the game he loves.

Dalkie, who was born without the lower half of his right arm, first got into the sport after his grandmother gave his brother a Kobe Bryant basketball.

"He never used it and one day I went into the shed, and it was there,” he said.

“I started bouncing the ball, trying new moves in my driveway, and then I eventually got a hoop and that's when I started shooting, and that's when I started falling in love with basketball."

Now 15 years old, Dalkie is playing high school and club basketball, but developing his skills to play at this high a level requires some adjustments when it comes to training.

"If we're doing maybe 20 layups on one side, a normal person with two hands would switch, but I have to do double on that one side so it gets tiring,” he said.

Dalkie plays the game completely left-handed.

"I'll watch YouTube videos for inspiration, watch different moves,” he said.

“Basically, a crossover, I'll think of different ways I can implement it by using my one side and trying different things. Basically, I watch different videos and I'll just go outside and do them until I master them."

Daron Leonard, Dalkie's coach, said Dalkie is always working hard to improve his skills.

"He attacks it in a real way where he wants to get better and wants to understand how to change angles and change levels and how to change the way he can play to adapt to higher levels of basketball and it's really fun to watch," Leonard said,

Dalkie said there is often a sense of shock among opponents and spectators seeing him take the court for the first time.

"I always get stares and stuff, but usually after 20 minutes they're all used to it,” Dalkie said.

“They don't treat me any differently, they make me play hard, they will force me to go right but I find ways to cope."

Dalkie loves showcasing his ability to score.

"Everyone is not expecting it, so there'll be a huge crowd and it will just erupt the whole gym, even if it's just practice, they'll go crazy because they've never seen it before,” he said.

"I personally haven't met anyone who plays basketball with one hand so if there is someone who has the same problem, I hope I inspire them to keep going,” he said.

Dalkie said he aims to play the game at the highest level for as long as he can, and when his competitive playing days are over, he hopes to find a career involving basketball, perhaps in the front office of a professional team. Top Stories

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