ALLEN, Kan. (KSNT) – Many kids grow up playing a sport they love, for Northern Heights senior Austin Korte, that sport was basketball.
“It’s fun, energizing,” Korte said.
Like many players, Korte started playing when he was young, however he’s dealt with something, not most players have faced, and it started before he was even born
“When I was in the womb, the umbilical cord wrapped around it and it cut off circulation so it wouldn’t grow,” Korte explained.
He is talking about his left arm, which is cut off at the elbow, something he’s had his entire life.
However, while outsiders might see that as a problem when playing sports, Korte would tell you otherwise.
“I don’t really see myself as behind,” Korte said. “I’m eager to work so I feel, if I work harder, I’ll be ahead.”
Jacob Lang was hired as head coach for the Wildcats two years ago, and when he first met Korte, he admitted he was curious.
“When you see a kid with one hand, you’re trying to figure ‘okay, he’s a junior in high school, and he’s still out which makes you think he’s got to have some love of the game,’” Lang said. “So I was just interested to see what he can do.”
What he saw was a player, with an incredible work ethic, despite having a disability.
“The nice thing about him is, he never uses that as an excuse to why he can’t do anything,” Lang said.
Korte’s mentality is one that his teammates not only notice, but also do not take for granted.
“I could never how hard it could be,” said Malachi Lunsford, Korte’s teammate. “Having him on the team, I think a lot of us really appreciate it, it shows that there’s no limits to what somebody can do.”
After graduating, Korte hopes to attend Emporia State University.