Staten Island teen overcomes cerebral palsy to become basketball star

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Rob Nelson has the inspiring story. (WABC)

When the fans watch number 20 on a Staten Island school team, it's not just a basketball game, it's about a young man living without limits.

"And I just like playing, scoring baskets and hearing the crowd just yelling," said 13-year old Jasiah Jackson.

He made the cut months ago and is a first-year shooting guard for Markham Intermediate School's JV basketball squad.

He also suffers from a form of cerebral palsy.

"When I'm on the court it doesn't feel like I have a condition," he said.

The condition impacts his speed and the way he walks and runs, but it's done nothing to diminish the jump shot or the spirit of this seventh grader.

And that has inspired the entire school.

("Did you ever think you'd be on the team here at school?", we asked him.) "Yeah," he said. ("And what made you so confident?") "Because I was good."

"He's always been a good kid and I just hope he continues to keep that positive roll going and just be the best that he can be," said his mother, Zeisha Norris Jackson.

Back in the winter Jasiah gave the entire school community something to cheer about when he stood on the foul line and made his first point.

A recent foot surgery has Jasiah wheelchair-bound for a few weeks, but he's clearly already left his mark.

"Instead of saying 'I can't', he said 'I can'," said his coach Benjamin Gilbert. "He wears the uniform, we are Spartans, and we tell him to go out there and fight."

The Spartans went undefeated this season and also won their first-ever league championship. This team doesn't just have hardware, it has heart, and Jasiah is undefeated in life.

"I won't let anything stop me," he said.


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