January 27, 2011

Adopted from India, blind teenager plays basketball for American High School Team

I can't describe the different ways in which this story awed me today. Cruising around the internet for any and everything india basketball related like I usually do, I came across this touching story on BillingsGazette.com by Chelsea Krotzer:

Seri Brammer is a 15-year-old girl, studying at the Huntley Project High School in Worden, Montana (USA). When she was 3 and a half years old, Seri was adopted from an orphanage in India (I couldn't find out where in India).

Seri was born with albinism, a birth disorder that is characterised by the lack of skin pigmentation. Her disorder has also caused Seri to be legally blind. She was also incredibly small at birth, but began to grow in size as she grew older, and at 15, stands at 4 feet, 11 inches.

Now, here is the incredible twist in her story: A lover of organised team sports, and especially basketball, Seri worked hard until she became a member of her High School's C-Squad Basketball Team. As the article goes on to describe, despite her lack of sight, she has been able to hold her own on the court.

Here is an excerpt from this excellent piece by Krotzer:

Her parents, Jesse and Susie Brammer, adopted Seri from an orphanage in India when she was 3-1/2 years old. Her biological parents kept her for six months before giving her up.

"There is a stigma that the family is being punished for something that happened with the family," Susie Brammer said. "But they must have cared enough to have kept her for six months."

Brammer now stands a proud 4 feet, 11 inches. As one of the shortest members of the Huntley Project C-Squad basketball team, she holds her own with her free throws and three-point shots.
On occasion, Coach Ron Reed lets Seri play during the closing minutes of the game.
"As of right now, we put her in the last part of the game so she can get a couple of reps in," Reed said. "She stays at one end. It's kind of hard for her to get on both ends of the court."
Her teammates are sure to get her the ball when they can.
"The girls are really cool with her," Reed said. "They will tell her where to go and will take the ball to her so she can make a shot.
"She loves it."
Seri didn't get any actual playing time during the team's latest game against Big Timber on Tuesday, but wouldn't trade even sitting on the bench for anything.

The coach and her parents agree that Seri shouldn't get too much game time all at once — they don't want her to get hurt. Her mom is most concerned about her getting hit in the head.
"I'm used to that," Seri said, smiling.
As a precaution Seri wears a helmet while playing games.

Please check out the rest of Krotzer's article for more information.

Photo taken from BillingsGazette.com

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