“I’m Just As Human As You” | Eighth Grader Born With No Legs Makes His Louisville Basketball Team

Image Credit: Twitter @Face2faceAfrica

Josiah Johnson, born without legs, made the eighth-grade basketball team at Moore Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky, showing how special he is. Johnson has been playing basketball since kindergarten, and this is his first year on a team.

“It’s something I had to do,” Johnson said to local CBS affiliate WLKY about playing basketball. “I don’t want you doubting me because I don’t have legs. I want to show you that I’m just as human as you, and just as good as you are, if not better. I acted like I wasn’t excited in front of coach. When I went in the gym, I was excited.”

Although he was born without legs, Johnson showed he is a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court, never letting any limitation slow him down.

“He shows up every day,” his coach Daquan Boyd said to local Spectrum News 1. “If we have to do sprints or something like that, he runs them too. That’s very exciting to see him go out there and do what everyone else does, as well.

The coach expressed that Johnson is an excellent addition to the team, and he noticed his abilities from day one.

“He started hitting shots and everything, and then he’s running,” Boyd continued. “He’s playing defense; he’s stealing the ball from people. He’s making good passes, good reads and everything like that, so I was like, ‘He can fit on our team then.'”

Johnson started for the Mustangs, and his positivity and determination have inspired countless that have come in contact with him. No matter what has stood in his way, he said being on the team was something he wanted to do.

“You really don’t expect him to do a lot, but once he gets out there, he shows you what he can do. They’re just caught off guard by it; it doesn’t matter. I think he’s a threat for any team no matter who we play,” said Malakei Loveless, an eighth grader and teammate at Moore Middle School. “He’s improved my confidence as a player and a person off and on the court. No matter what, just because he don’t care what no one else says.”

His love for the game earned him a spot on the Moore Middle School basketball team. Now Johnson has achieved something that has alluded many others without physical limitations, making a slot on a school basketball team in the starting lineup.

“It’s just something that I had to do. I don’t want you doubting me because I have no legs,” Johnson said. “I want to show you that I’m just as human as you and I’m just as good as you are, if not better than you.”

Johnson is already a winner on the court, as he and his teammates have tasted victory frequently. Johnson’s accomplishment shows that anything is possible, and his achievement transcends athletics as an inspirational story for self-determination and a life lived without boundaries. Johnson’s motto, “prove your doubters wrong,” has manifested in sports, and it is just the beginning.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.