CHICAGO (CBS) — The Dewey Eagles basketball team from the Back of the Yards finished first in its league last year.
And this year is looking pretty good too.
For one player in particular, basketball has helped him score an inspiring rebound.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole has the story.
You have to look close to see what really makes Martaveon Young something special on the basketball court.
“When I play I can get my mind off stuff,” says Young.
The CPS 8th grader at Dewey Elementary averages 16 points and six rebounds per game with only one hand.
“When I’m going through something hard, I play basketball and be good,” says Young.
It was the Fourth of July three years ago, and in his left hand Martaveon held a firework.
“I was trying to light it. I didn’t know it was lit and it just blew up,” he says.
The something that helped him rebound was basketball.
But there was also a someone.
Mama is Latisha Johnson.
“She said ‘don’t stop. Keep pushing. You got this.’ Things like that,” says Young.
When asked what went through his mind and heart hearing his mother’s words, Young said he wanted to do it for her.
“Because she didn’t want me to give up,” says Young.
Getting back in the game wasn’t easy.
He had to teach himself to shoot and dribble all over again.
“It blows my mind. It still blows my mind.” says coach Larry Mitchel who adds that Martaveon has developed a tricky style: fooling the opposition into thinking he’s going left when he’s still leading with his right hand.
“I just don’t understand how he do it but somehow he do it,” says Mitchell.
The determination to bounce back, to find his better self, fascinates those watching him and a certain player as well.
“I think it’s amazing too,” says Young with a smile.