GRANTS PASS—Shai Garza has a natural-born talent for inspiring others.
It’s a talent that the sophomore standout best illustrates on the basketball court at North Valley High School.
"At first they think how's she going to do it and then they think how are we going to stop her?" Knights head coach Danny Pratt said.
"Sometimes I hear the girls, 'Oh take away her right side,' but I take that and I try to make it push me," Garza said.
“I'm not sure how she does it because only she knows how to do it,” Pratt said. “I can't teach her how to do what she does. She teaches herself almost everything."
But in order for her talents to shine, one must address what she was born without.
Garza was born with a condition called “amniotic band constriction,” a congenital disorder that deprived her of her lower right arm.
It hasn’t stopped her from shooting.
"I've never had two hands so I've never experienced anything else, but I do what everybody else does but just a little bit different," Garza said.
"She can shoot. And when she gets going and she's hot, she makes eight, nine, 10 in a row," Pratt said.
"They might think that I'm not that great of a basketball player but I want to prove them wrong and be like, 'Hey I am a good basketball player and I can do this even if I don't have two hands,'" Garza said.
So Garza sets out to inspire others, saying she hopes to be a source of motivation for others.
"These are the cards that I've been dealt and this is what I'm going to do with that—just make it positive for everybody else. Maybe the people that do have one arm can look up to me and be like, 'Oh she can do it, she's pushing herself, I can push myself,’" she said.
- Amateur Athlete: Born to Shoot and Inspire, Shai Garza Blossoms at North Valley
- Amateur Athlete: Crossfit Athletes Rally Around Inspirational Bauer White
- Amateur Athlete: Hidden Valley Three-Sport Athlete Hannah Hayes is a Triple Threat
- Amateur Athlete: Kya Hammersley, KU's Five-Sport Athlete
- Amateur Athlete(s): Illinois Valley's Caleb Hess & Elijah Polk Share More Than a Playbook
- Amateur Athlete: With Attention to Detail, Rogue Valley Paragliders Take Flight
- Amateur Athlete: To Their Own Tune, North Medford's Houck and Biddle Find Success Balancing Football, Band
- Amateur Athlete: Joe Wallace Carves Competition With Wooden Creations
- Amateur Athlete: Trevahn Foster, Southern Oregon's Most Prolific Shot Blocker
- Amateur Athlete: Gallagher Training Triathletes and Everyone in Between