One-Legged Basketballer Inspires Others
A one legged basketball player stops in Yakima to speak to fellow amputees about the ability to push past any obvious limitiations.
Imagine being beaten on the court by a team of 12 men, with only 12 legs
31 year old Tyler Hyatt is your average basketball small forward.
Snagging rebounds, making passes, and hitting the occassional open shot.
But what makes Hyatt more than average is the leg up he has on the competition...literally.
Hyatt was just four years old when he was accidentally run over by a garbage truck, leaving his left leg amputated above the knee.
The accident not only crippled him, but also his dreams of making it big in the basketball world.
"A lot of teams, just didn't take me serious. I could shoot, but getting up and down the court, I couldn't do it as fast as an able-bodied person," said Hyatt.
After college, Hyatt decided it was time he and a friend brought the sport to them.
Hyatt founded Amp1 basketball in Salt LakeCity, Utah, a team consisting of amputees, capable of playing stand up basketball.
The team has had nothing but success since being started four years ago--- traveling the world, competing against able bodied players, and inspiring those around them at the same time.
"We play against college teams now and we actually beat them. And they're very surprised because they see the disability and think we're going to be slow. But they don't understand the technology we have now underneath us," said Hyatt.
Doctors say they hope hyatt's story and the technology behind his knee not only inspires their patients to get up and push themselves to the next level, but also shows them that type of technology is available right where they live.
"He makes a connection with those patients. He's genuine, and already, we have people out there today that and going 'you know, I want to do that, I want to get to the next level,'" said Prosthetist Andy Lambert.
Hyatt hopes to continue playing at a competitive level until both legs are officially too old and too slow.
But, he hopes his teams story and the technology behind the player's legs will bring in a new generation of Amp1 players.
"Everybody looks at us and says we should be playing wheelchair basketball, because that's all there has been. So we're changing that --- we're changing that perceptive of us being like them, being disabled," said Hyatt.
Tyler Hyatt also spoke to patients at Tri-Cities Prosthetics and Orthotics in Richland this afternoon.