VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) – Mark Carney is the one guy none of his Landstown teammates want to practice against. Every once in a while, Head Coach Dwight Robinson will joke with his players how Carney will school everyone, despite only being able to dribble left-handed.
“I call him half-man, half amazing,” said Robinson.
Carney plays with only one healthy arm. The senior is unable to extend his right arm, which is shorter, is always wrapped in a splint, and he can’t really use his fingers on that side. Born with braco plexus paulsy, his family had to consider amputating that arm.
“It was difficult at the beginning to accept, but God has been good,” said Carney’s mother, Angela. Despite having to endure eight surgeries, Carney has not only been able to manage his condition, he’s thrived, both on and off the court.
“At the end of the day, it’s something I have to live with, and I have to be confident in myself, if I’m going to maneuver throughout life,” said Carney, who will graduate from Landstown as an honor student.
On the court, he’s a tenacious defender, whom a number of opponents have had problems with, and has scored in just about every game he’s played in.
No, he doesn’t just play when the game is out of reach.
Standing at about 5-foot-10, Carney is able to score with offensive rebounds, and has a very impressive jumper, from both mid-range and three-point distance. During the offseason, he’s maybe the hardest worker on the team, putting some impressive one-handed push-ups on display.
“Seeing him do what he does, even though he has a disability, it motivates me,” said Carney’s senior teammate Kamilo Evans.
Carney’s mother is hoping her son’s story, his perseverance, and his success through adversity is something that will inspire others. “He’s my hero,” she said.