One-armed teen athlete creating a buzz

SANTA FE (KRQE) – It’s hard enough to put up 20 points a game in high school basketball as it is, but to do it with only one arm?

That’s what a New Mexico hoop star is doing and his hoop dreams don’t end with high school.

Omar Ndiaye has been playing basketball since he was 6-years-old and since that time, he’s had to work a little bit harder at it than everyone else. That’s because he was born without a lower right arm.

“Once I step on the court, how I have one hand, it just like disappears and i just play my game,” Ndiaye said.

The 16-year-old is a junior at Monte Del Sol, a Santa Fe charter school, and the starting point guard for the school’s varsity basketball team.

“I’ve had to work really hard and things weren’t given to me and you can’t get discouraged when it doesn’t work right away. You just have to keep working hard and the day will come when it all pays off,” Ndiaye said.

Ndiaye’s coach, Nick Rivera, says it’s not what Omar was born without that makes him impressive. It’s what he was born with, smart basketball skills.

“He was blessed. He was born blessed,” Rivera said.

He doesn’t just play, Ndiaye’s averaging about 20 points a game and Rivera believes this is just the beginning.

“He wants to play college basketball and i feel that he has the skill to do it and the mentality to do it and the work ethic,” Rivera said.

Just like Zach Hodskins, Ndiaye says, a Georgia high schooler missing his lower left arm who will play at the University of Florida next fall.

“That really inspired me and showed me that it’s reality,” Ndiaye said.

A reality he’s working for every day.

There’s another sports star with one arm in New Mexico. Senior Brandon Madrid played defensive back for Volcano Vista’s football team.

He also wants to play college ball.

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