Amputee Basketball Team Inspires North Texas Students

By Brian Scott
|  Monday, Mar 25, 2013  |  Updated 9:02 PM CDT
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Amputee Luke Johnson is taking inspiration from the

Brian Scott, Denton County Reporter

Amputee Luke Johnson is taking inspiration from the "Amp One" amputee basketball team to inspire others to "always stand up, never give up."

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Amputee Luke Johnson is taking inspiration from the "Amp One" amputee basketball team to inspire others to "always stand up, never give up."

Fifth grader Luke stands out from the crowd at Paloma Creek Elementary in Aubrey.

By the time Luke was in the second grade, he and his family knew they had a tough decision ahead: whether to keep his leg or amputate.

 "It started when he was two, he broke his leg and it never quite healed,” said Luke’s mother. “He has a birth defect.”

His second grade teacher Andy Kane says it was instantly obvious how tough that decision was on Luke.

"[He] would wear pants even on a 105 degree day, head down, kids would look at him, and he'd be real self-conscious," said Kane.

Kane called in a favor from someone he’d met just a few years earlier to help Luke. It was meeting he says was no accident.

"Through the grace of God, I met Scott eight years ago, and I promise you that meeting was supposed to happen to bring Scott to Luke,” said Kane.

Scott Oden, of Fort Worth, is one of the founding members of the Amp One basketball team.

Oden says Amp One is the world’s only stand-up amputee basketball team. The team doesn’t use wheel chairs but instead everyone runs, jumps, and dunks on at least one prosthetic leg. 

Oden and teammate Brian Vincent call it a labor of love. They say the team often tours on their own personal money and can afford their advanced prosthetic only thanks to sponsorships, but they say it’s worth it to inspire and show others that amputees can show the same skill on the court anyone else can.

That’s exactly why Kane brought the team to the school three years ago: to inspire Luke.

 Amp One put on a clinic for the students and showed Luke that losing a limb only limits you as much as you let it.

"They had a huge part in my decision to have my leg amputated," Luke said.

In 2012, Luke went through the surgery to have his leg amputated. He stood proudly alongside Team Amp One only months later as they held another demonstration for the students of Paloma Creek Elementary School.

 "To know there are other folks out there that are making it happen, making it work, I mean he just looks up to those guys so much,” said Luke’s mother.

Luke even hit the court with the team to play his former second grade teacher to score the winning basket.

"You can do anything,” Luke said. “Always stand up, never give up." 

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