Volleyball player soars despite underdeveloped arm
PORT ORANGE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - A Port Orange student is inspired by the University of Central Florida's Shaquem Griffin, and just like Shaquem, he won't let what some see as a disadvantage hold him back.
Freedom High School hosted to a volleyball tournament this week that includes a very special young man, who is not letting anything get in the way of fulfilling his dreams.
It's 16-year-old Robbie's first year playing JV volleyball for Spruce Creek High School.
"I never let anything get in my way," he says.
Not even a rare, congenital condition which left him with an underdeveloped left arm.
"It's called the amniotic band syndrome. I punched through the amniotic sack prematurely, so it stopped the formation of my left hand."
Amniotic band syndrome affects one in every 1,200 live births.
Robbie's mental perseverance is greater than what he physically lacks.
"I always thought I was an athlete, and I never let it stop me from doing what I wanted," he says. "When I was younger, I would play basketball or flag football, soccer, tennis and all that. I do bowl for Spruce creek and then now volleyball."
Robbie's confidence puts him in a class of his own and with his first season almost complete, he says anybody can beat the odds.
"No matter what you're going through just don't let anything get in your way. Always try and be your best. No matter what that is."
Robbie hopes to be on the varsity team next year.