JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Jackson scholar has turn into the primary deaf participant to signal a Division 1 basketball scholarship in Mississippi.
Alexis Roberts, a 6-foot ahead with greater than 1,000 profession factors and 500 rebounds, has signed to play for the Jackson State Tigers, WAPT-TV reported.
“I really feel very excited as a result of I’m the primary deaf particular person to try this, and it’s nice to make historical past,” Roberts mentioned by interpreter Cheryl Keller.
Roberts was born with a share of listening to in each ears, however her listening to pale. Speaking has been a problem, however Roberts was launched to basketball when she was 12 and it modified her life.
“Selecting up that basketball, it was every little thing to her,” Velma Patrick, Alexis’ mom, instructed the tv station. “Basketball, you’ll be able to say, gave her life.”
Roberts continued to develop as a basketball participant at Mississippi College for the Deaf, beneath head coach Sekoe White, who was a deaf athlete himself.
White believes Roberts’ largest influence enjoying for Jackson State will likely be off the court docket.
“At that degree, it’s an opportunity to let the world know any deaf particular person can do it,” White mentioned. “You simply want the exhausting work, however typically the deaf individuals must work a bit of bit additional exhausting, however you may make it occur and right here is our proof.”
Jackson State head Coach Tomekia Reed mentioned the coaches and gamers at JSU will take signal language programs to discover ways to talk with their new teammate.
“She deserves the chance to play for a Division 1 program — not due to her scenario, she shouldn’t be restricted to that,” Reed mentioned. “She ought to be capable to obtain every little thing else that everyone else receives, and he or she doesn’t let her scenario maintain her again from being nice.”
Roberts plans to main in bodily schooling at Jackson State.
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