Even though he was born with just one full arm, teenager Jordan Lee was determined it would never thwart his ambition to become a major force on the basketball court.
Missing his left arm from the elbow down, he had to work harder and longer to perfect the skills of the game but now he is reaping the rewards.
Jordan’s long-cherished dream of playing for his country is about to come true as the 14-year-old has been called up to play for the Irish Under-15 development squad preparing for next year’s European Basketball Championships.
And while he lives by the mantra “practice makes perfect”, Jordan, from Killarney, Co Kerry, puts his success on the courts down to the support and encouragement he has received from his dad, Jarlath, a former superleague basketball player.
Jarlath played for St Paul’s of Killarney and the Dublin Bay Vikings during the course of a long and successful career.
“Dad always said that I could adapt my game to suit myself and that I didn’t need a full left hand to make my mark.
“He taught me how to make that shot properly and I just got used to it. All the practice paid off,” said shooting guard Jordan, who has been playing the game since the age of five.
Proud dad Jarlath remarked: “His shot is absolutely unbelievable. He is 100pc better at shooting than I was.”
Although he has a prosthetic arm, second year student Jordan doesn’t use it when playing basketball. Instead he has developed his own style of playing to enable him to carry and shoot.
The plucky teenager, who plays with St Paul’s of Killarney, is joined on the Irish squad by Killarney team-mate Ewan Weldon. Both are also star players for St Brendan’s College, Killarney which is highly rated in schools basketball.