Thursday, October 13th, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  19 responses

Constant Adversity

The story of a kid who never gave up on his dream.

We then did our own thing again and made our way to Utah to play an exhibition-like game against some other amputees. It was only four-on-four, but we did receive some media attention. We also set up a speaking gig at a local elementary school. It was a huge hit and the kids loved us.

It was at that school event that we knew we had something special. We continued to do events on our own…from Dallas to New York. It was our trip to New York where we finally got the opportunity to express our goals and dreams with a potential sponsor—Freedom Innovations, a prosthetics manufacturer. They took a shot on us with the New York Event we set up, following us to the school speaking gigs and the charity game we set up playing against high school seniors and coaches. We won the game in front of Freedom, which highly impressed them.

Amputees beating able-bodied athletes. Really?!

They soon became our first sponsor, helping us with flights and hotels—expenses we were initially sacrificing. Since then we have played in cities across the country. Dallas, New York, Las Vegas, Utah, L.A., Kansas City, Walter Reed in Washington, Detroit and Oklahoma. We have played at legendary Rucker Park, played at halftime at a Dallas Mavericks game, and played and placed third at the Nike 3-on-3 tournament in L.A. this past year.

I was asked personally by Donnie Nelson, GM of the Dallas Mavericks and owner of the Texas Legends to tryout for the D-League team Texas Legends, which was a huge honor with everything I have been through.

I got to run the Olympic torch in 2002 and handed it off to Lance Armstrong—another cancer survivor.

I have been honored by being awarded with the Community Hero, Hometown Hero, Texan with Character, and camp counselor of the year awards at different points in my life.

I have spoken to thousands of people all across the country—schools, churches, prisons, organizations, kids programs, camps, and guest speaking at special events.

I have written and published my own book Stand Up: I Lost My Leg To Cancer Not My Dream.

It is more than basketball; I am spreading the message of never giving up.

Never give up on your dreams and don’t let anyone stop you from reaching them. Our motto is “Stand up.” Yes we play stand up to basketball… but we are standing up for what we believe in, what we know we can do, and standing up for ourselves.

I haven’t been dealt the best hand in life and I could have accepted playing basketball in a wheelchair and that would have been accepted—and probably praised—by many people. That would have been the easy way out.

Instead, I chose to keep my dream alive by staying committing to it and going through the hardships and sacrifices to one day live out my dream to the fullest. I have four tattoos, all of which have meaning. A cross on my right arm for my faith—I know that everything happens for a reason, that this is all God’s work. Then there’s a cancer survivor tattoo on my left arm and the phrase, “Never Give Up” across my back. Lastly, I have a serenity prayer on my right chest.

My life is committed to my dream. My voicemail states that I am either working or playing ball. It’s in my blood and it is my passion. I hope that this story touches everyone; that it helps them to see someone who has overcome adversity and hardships and did not give up in life. I want to inspire people, fill them with hope.

Just because I lost my leg doesn’t mean I lost my dream.

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  • V

    Wow. What an inspirational story. Puts things into perspective.

  • T. Brown

    This was an excellent article. This should serve as an inspiration and a lesson to all of us who have been through adversity that me.we should never give up on our dreams. Obstacles are meant to be overcome.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Unlike some of the things SLAM has been putting on the site for a while…..this is worthy AND deserves a prominent place in the great history of SLAM. Nicely done and inspiring. Pleasure to read, Jeremy and Scott.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    That was absolutely great.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Definitely worth reading at 1am over here.

  • TL

    Awesome profile. Truly inspiring. Really makes you think: what would you have done?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Wow…didn’t know what this was about at first. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop. What an awesome and inspiring piece.

  • Randy Hammer

    Scott has been very inspirational to me and my family for years. He has taught me lessons in dealing with adversity. To coin a phrase from Scott, “stay true”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nima Zarrabi

    This was damn good.

  • Megan Hammer

    I love you uncle Scott !

  • Paul Rosenblum

    Never Give up!! Scott and AMP 1 are truly inspirations to every one..Makes me proud to be a basketball player! Y’all ROCK Thank you…

  • Bootsie Hall

    What a true inspiration Scott is! Great story!

  • Alan

    Great story. Fighting to play ball while the best in the world are fighting over money.

  • http://www.amp1basketball.com Brian P Vincent

    Amp 1 Basketball is going to be household name !

  • Sasha Savkovic

    Scott has not only inspired me to work harder but he has also told me to “never give up”. Scott is a great guy with a lot going for him. I just think publicly people should know more.

  • Ryan

    Scott is the one to look up to

  • Ryan Hammer

    I’m proud of you uncle Scott, I believe in you

  • pzl

    More stuff like this please SLAM. This is awesome.

  • Steve Osborn

    Great article! Never give up on dreams as hard as they may be!