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First NCAA Division I Athlete with One Arm Visits ONW

By Rosie Boswell

Kevin Atlas, a previous professional basketball player, visited ONW last week to talk to the student athletes. After becoming a pro athlete, Atlas decided to dedicate his time to motivational speaking. He saw a problem with the support system in his own high school and decided to make a change in high schools around the US.

Atlas experienced many difficulties in his journey to the top. “A lot of people
forced me left because they didn’t think I could dribble on that side,” he said. He had also been cut from his 7th grade basketball team due to his lack of a left arm. However, he
never gave up and his dedication landed him a NCAA Division I scholarship. Through his journey, Atlas was offered a job with the Harlem GlobeTrotters but turned it down because he wanted to prevent people from experiencing the negativity that he did in high school. He has now been a motivational speaker for 7 years, traveling all around the United States.

Senior football player Ryan Andrew says that Atlas coming to speak at ONW made a
big impact on him. He said Atlas brought to his attention the fact that “[he] take[s] all the
people that support the football team for granted and [he] doesn’t really support the
other sports.” Atlas gave Andrew a challenge; go to a band concert with your entire
team. Andrew intends to accept the challenge and go to the band concert on October
15th with his team.

As Atlas intended, ONW is slowly becoming a more positive and welcoming environment.
Andrew hopes that other athletes also take the initiative to support those who support


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