Bryan County tennis player defying the odds

Bradley Hoover
Bradley Hoover

PEMBROKE, GA (WTOC) - Bradley Hoover loves to play tennis. A rising junior, Hoover plays doubles with the Bryan County high school varsity team.

But growing up, it was considered a feat when Hoover proved he could run.  Playing tennis?  Many thought it would be impossible.

"When he was two weeks old, they told us they would have to amputate his foot and fit him with a prosthesis," said Bradley's mother Robyn Martin.

"That is definitely something that is hard for a parent to have to hear."

Because Hoover was born without an ankle joint, doctors amputated the area below the heel pad of his foot at 11 months.  He still has his leg, but Hoover uses the prosthesis to make up the difference in length.

"Looking at him, you couldn't tell that he had a prosthetic leg," added Hoover's doubles partner Phillip Sapp.

"There definitely was a sense of apprehension that he could fall or maybe someone would pick on him," said Redskins' tennis coach Karen Lynn.

"As he has gotten better and I've gotten more comfortable with him out there, that nervousness has gone away and he's like another player.

This season, Hoover contributed to a Redskins team that played their way into the first round of the high school state playoffs.

"He doesn't let anything stop him or hold him back," his mother said.  "If he wants to do it, he finishes what he starts."

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