Cerebral Palsy Is No Obstacle For UNCG Sophomore

9:06 PM, Apr 17, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Even from the sidelines, a sophomore at UNC Greensboro (UNCG) is inspiring his teammates.

Nathan Baker has overcome more than his fair share of obstacles.

Baker is deaf. And his cerebral palsy has kept him off the soccer field...but it hasn't kept him off the team.

"When I look at him, I honestly say, 'wow'," said UNCG Men's Head Soccer Coach Justin Maullin.

Baker is the team manager for the UNCG Men's Soccer Team.

He doesn't wear cleats or a jersey, from the sidelines, Baker runs and works just as hard as any guy on the field.

"In his mind, there's nothing he can't do," said Maullin.

Baker knows he's different. He looks different, speaks differently and runs differently.

"It's been a hard road for me at times because for me, being deaf and having cerebral palsy," Baker said. "The biggest barrier to me making friends with new people is their attitude. You've got to take a chance on people."

His teammates have gotten the memo, and more than that.

"He showed how you can basically, overcome everything just by being determined and actually wanting to work for it," said Mahdi Ali, a sophomore on the team.

Baker's words might be hard to understand, but his message is crystal clear.

"Half the battle in life is attitude," Baker said.

"He's a true inspiration to everyone that's around him," said Maullin.

Baker has become an advocate for people with special needs, encouraging them to follow their dreams, just like their peers without disabilities.

He said he would like to be a soccer or basketball coach one day. He also said his dream down the road is to be a broadcaster on ESPN.


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