Missing hand not a disability to young Chicago athlete

6’3” senior John Oliver was born with a club left hand.  CBS News

CHICAGO -- John Oliver, a senior who attends Chicago's Marian Catholic High School, has so much heart, energy and talent you don’t think he’s missing anything, reports CBS Chicago.

 But if you look closely, there’s nothing beyond his wrist besides the beginning of his palm.

“Usually, I don’t get a reaction until late, later on the game if not after because you really don’t notice it at first. The faces are pretty funny,” the senior forward says, smiling.

The 6’3” student was born with a club left hand. He doesn’t like wearing a prosthesis and has figured out basketball mechanics on his own.

Since he was three years old, his family got him involved in basketball and baseball. They never treated him like he had a disability — a big reason why he doesn’t think that way.

“I just look at it as I have to work ten times harder than everybody else,” Oliver says.

John cracked the starting lineup his sophomore year and has started every game this season. He’s gaining respect as the team’s shutdown defensive player. \

However, his game and his life transcend numbers.

“A little kid in a recent game came up to me after a game and told me what an inspiration I am. I want to show others that you can’t let things get you down or hold you back from achieving a certain goal,” Oliver says.

Oliver is getting consideration from Division II and Division III schools to play basketball for them. 

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