Basketball coach with cerebral palsy inspires kids on the court

BRIDGETON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Scott Bozearth was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, hindering the muscles on the left side of his body. That includes his left hand, which does not function as well as the right.

"I love challenges," he said. "So, what I thought is, if God gave me a hand to play, I'm going to play like that."

Bozearth grew up in Cumberland County playing basketball. He carried that passion into his adult life, where he coaches two teams in the Herb Henry Youth Basketball League. Both teams are undefeated and playing in their respective championship matches on Sunday, March 6.

"I can't even believe that," he said.

Despite his initial disbelief about the circumstances, Coach Scott has always believed in his players. For example, 12-year-old Abraxus Hannah stepped on the court for the first time this year with hardly any experience.

"Anytime I say I can't do something, Coach Scott always tells me I can," said Hannah. "I feel like he's made a really big difference in my life."

Parents agree that Coach Scott's can-do attitude has sparked a positive change in their children.

"As parents, our most important job is to always try and put our children in programs that are going to nurture them, motivate them," said Tracie Horn. "And I find that the Herb Henry Youth Basketball League is a perfect league."

Horn says that her son, Andrew, now looks forward to getting outside and going to basketball practice. They have one coach in particular to thank.

"Coach Scott is just very motivating," said Horn. "He has all the children out there playing. He believes in them. And that's very inspiring to the children."

Bozearth hopes to keep coaching as long as he can. He believes his role is to do more than simply teach technical skills.

"I'm like their role model, like, their dad or their coach," he said. "And they've got to work hard, whatever they've got to do. They've got challenges to take care of."

To learn more about the Herb Henry Youth Basketball League, visit their Facebook page.

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