Basketball player refuses to let being deaf slow him down

11:50 AM, Feb 17, 2014   |    comments
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BAR HARBOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The dream of every High School Basketball team in Maine is to hold that gold ball at the end of the season. A dream only one team a year from each Division will fulfill. There's one young, very talented, basketball player on the boys team at Mount Desert Island High School (MDI) who knows how important determination is in reaching that goal.

John Phelps is the point guard for the MDI boys team. His job is to set up plays and make sure their executed. Not easy considering he's been deaf since birth. Despite that, Phelps is at the top of his game according to his coach, Justin Norwood.

"Last year he was named to the all tournament team and this year he's been player of the week in our league," said Norwood.

The senior has developed a system for his players to understand using his hands to call out play signals. When it comes to understanding others, he has mastered the art of reading lips.

"I see my coach. The way he move, the way he shout what we're supposed to do. I watch him and I see what we're doing and how we do it," said Phelps.

Watching John run the offense for the trojans, you quickly forget that there's anything different about him. Fitting in with his team mates is all he's ever wanted. Making a point to the ney-sayers.

"People say deaf people can't do anything, but you can so I do what I want. So I just want to play basketball with teams, making friends," said Phelps.  

NEWS CENTER

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