Manitoba teen playing basketball with one hand
Even if he doesn’t play basketball, 15-year-old Kieran Dalkie watches basketball, takes inspiration from his favorite NBA stars and tries to incorporate their moves into his game.
Mastering these basketball skills can require a little more work and creativity than your peers because you have to do everything one-handed. But Dalkey will never let adversity play the game he loves.
Dalkey, who was born without the lower half of his right arm, first started playing sports after his grandmother gifted his brother a Kobe Bryant basketball.
“He had never used it, so one day I went into the closet and it was there,” he said.
“I started bouncing the ball, tried new moves in the driveway, and eventually got the hoop. That’s when I started shooting and that’s how I fell in love with basketball.” That’s when I started.”
Dalkie, now 15, plays high school and club basketball, but needs some training adjustments to play at this high level.
“If you do about 20 layups on one side, normal people with two hands will switch, but I have to do that side twice, which is tiring,” he said.
Dalkey plays the game completely left-handed.
“I watch YouTube videos for inspiration and see different movements,” he said.
“It’s basically a crossover, but by trying different things with one side of myself, I come up with different ways it can be implemented. Basically, I watch different videos and try to master I’ll go outside and see.”
Daron Leonard, Dalkey’s coach, said Dalkey is always working hard to improve his skills.
“He wants to be better and he wants to understand how to change angles and levels and change the way he plays to adapt to a higher level of basketball. It’s fun,” Leonard said. He said,
Dalkey said there is often a sense of shock among opponents and spectators who see him on court for the first time.
“I get stared at all the time, but people usually get used to it within 20 minutes,” says Dalkie.
“They don’t treat me special. They make me play hard. They point me in the right direction, but I find a way to deal.”
Dalkey loves to show off his scoring ability.
“Nobody expects it, so crowds will gather and the whole gym will explode. Even if it’s just practice, they’ll go crazy because they’ve never seen it before.” ” he said.
“I personally haven’t met anyone who plays basketball with one hand, so if anyone has the same problem, I want to encourage them to keep going,” he said.
Dalkey aims to play at the highest level for as long as possible, and hopes to find a career involving basketball once his competitive days are over, perhaps in the front office of a professional team.