High school basketball player excels despite having only one hand

High school basketball player excels despite having only one hand

Teigan Delk, a junior at Elida High School in New Mexico, was born without his right hand.

Since his first breath, he's faced nonstop adversity.

Delk was born with amniotic band syndrome, which is when an unborn baby becomes tangled in the womb, restricting blood flow.

"He has never once asked why, he's never once questioned why God made him this way," said Tandee Delk, Teigan's mom. "He's always had the personality that he can do everything and anything."

Teigan said he is always willing to step up to the challenge.

"A lot of teamwork and learning how to work through adversity," said Teigan. "It's probably been one of my biggest obstacles in life that I've had to overcome and I've never really backed down from an obstacle."

Early on, his parents made the decision to treat him like a normal kid.

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"'We've never treated him unlike we would've if he had two hands," said Neal Delk, Teigan's dad. "From day one we pursued every activity we would've normally as if he had two hands."

"From sports to anything, he was tying his shoes at four years old," said Tandee. "We never treated him any differently and we don't expect him to treat himself any differently."

Coach Logan Turnbow calls Teigan's approach to daily life an inspiration.

"The way he handles the challenges of you know something simple as tying shoes," said Turnbow. "He's going to find a way to find a way to get it done, but he's never one to ask for help, he's never one to make excuses, so definitely an inspiration to us all."

Teigan knows obstacles will come, but backing down is never an option.

"There will be failure at some point but don't ever turn your back on it, just look right at it and say, I'm coming back, I'm going to beat you," said Teigan.

There's no lack of confidence in what Teigan can do on the court.

"The same expectations I've had for anybody else," said Coach Turnbow. " I anticipated him to bring energy effort and toughness every single day. I anticipated working hard and to earn a spot and really my expectations haven't wavered from that," said Coach Turnbow.

"You see all these players that are with working playing with two hands and they are really good," said Teigan. "Then, you put me on the court and most of them I can probably outplay them."

"To be able to do what we all do with one hand proves that he's a great player," said Kaull Burton, a teammate.  "I say to myself every game he would be amazing if he had that other hand. I can't even imagine. He would be the best basketball player with that other hand, but he is amazingly good with that one hand."

No matter the challenge, it's clear that Teigan's skills and spirit are a large part of the Elida Tigers varsity basketball team.

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