Playing Division I Basketball with One Arm

NAU's Ndiaye Inspires While Living His Dream

He's quick up the court, and sharp around screens. Omar Ndiaye is soft-spoken, but one of the hardest workers on the court for the Northern Arizona University Men's Basketball Team. 

Ndiaye is living his childhood dream by playing Division I basketball for the Lumberjacks, and he's doing it with only one arm. 

There's no traumatic story behind it or medical mystery. Ndiaye was simply born without most of his right arm. 

“I never talked to my mom about it. It just seemed like something that happened. It’s how God made me," said Ndiaye. 

In high school, Ndiaye applied to NAU for academics before catching the coach's eye from video of him playing in his home state of New Mexico. 

“I was amazed at what Omar could do with the basketball," said Jack Murphy, Head Coach for the NAU Men's Basketball Team. 

"It’s all natural to me. Every time I step on the court I don’t really think about it," said Ndiaye. 

Playing time is scarce for Ndiaye, who only appeared in two games during the 2016-17 season. Court time aside, Ndiaye brings inspiration and perspective to the court. 

"Omar amazes me every day," said Coach Murphy. "Even little things we take for granted: tying our shoes, getting dressed, and Omar’s out there playing basketball like it’s no big deal.”

“Instead of looking at it as a disability, I view it as an ability because it makes me unique in my own way," said Ndiaye. "I like to tell people to never judge a book by it’s cover because you never know what somebody can do.”

And what Ndiaye is doing is living his dream. 

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