Disability can’t stop Rhoton from hooping it up with best

Freshman Eric Rhoton was born two months premature and without a fully developed left arm. Despite what some would consider a handicap, Rhoton excels on the football field and on the basketball court.

In town for the Swanny’s Classic basketball showcase at the J. Bryan Floyd Recreation Center in North Myrtle Beach, Rhodon’s Veritas Christian Academy out of Asheville, N.C., didn’t fare so well in the first matchup, falling to Faith Baptist out of Brandon, Fla. by a score of 78-32.

Without four starters, Veritas never had a chance, but it did allow Rhoton to get some playing time at the varsity level.

Already a starter on the JV team, once scoring seven 3-pointers in a single contest, Rhoton simply doesn’t realize that his challenges are more difficult than others. In fact, speaking with teammates and coaches, it’s hard to get them to even talk about Rhoton’s difficulties.

“He doesn’t care, and we just don’t see it,” said head coach Joel Johnston. “ We treat him like any other kid. He plays hard, he works hard in practice. He’s so intelligent, and extremely confident in his abilities. Others bring it up to us, but it’s not that big a deal to the team.”

Indeed, it seems that Rhoton is able to accomplish anything he sets his mind to. He attributes his positive attitude to his Faith in God, hoping to one day become a preacher.

“My sister got me into it, then I started listening to Christian rap music. It’s through him that I am able to do all things” said Rhoton after Saturday’s contest.

Just 15 years old, Rhoton is a starter on the JV basketball team, plays with the varsity team, and also plays running back, wide receiver, and linebacker for the school’s football team.

Watching Rhoton enter the game for the first time, you wonder how this is going to work out, but minutes later, it’s apparent that he can do anything anyone else can. In the game versus Faith Baptist, Rhoton was rebounding and putting shots back up, he’s able to dribble with what his family calls his “foof”, chest passes are easily made, and there’s that seven 3’s in a game streak.

As the coaches, players, and fans realize, Rhoton is a kid doing what he loves – playing sports. He’s talented, determined, and despite what your eyes may see, completely normal.  A kid with a very bright future.

Veritas plays again tomorrow at noon vs Stevens Prep from Raleigh, NC. All games are held at the J Bryan Floyd recreation center in North Myrtle Beach

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