SOUTH BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mya Wood grew up watching her older sisters play basketball. Naturally, she picked up the sport as well. But she didn't have the easiest time finding coaches that would give her a chance.
"I feel like there's a different level when coaches believe or don't believe in me, having one hand," Wood said. "I just commit to everything I do and get involved in."
John Glose noticed that commitment when he first met Wood in a summer league a few years ago. The way she played the game caught both his attention and her teammates' attention.
"She was getting on the floor for loose balls. She was doing all the dirty work," Glose said. "And immediately, I noticed it, her teammates noticed it, and those are qualities that are great for everybody."
Her left arm stops just past her elbow because of a congenital birth defect. Doctors say it stopped developing at around 10 weeks. But she overcame that to make Mount Mercy's varsity team as a sophomore a year and a half ago.
Well before COVID-19 cut the 2019-20 basketball season short, Wood found herself unable to play for the Magic. She broke her only wrist playing soccer in the fall and needed surgery to repair it.
"I was waiting for the season for so long, and then I couldn't play," Wood said. "I literally couldn't do anything without having my left hand."
But she was still around the team, and there for her teammates, for the entire season before it came to an early end in March. This season, Wood has emerged as a starter for the Magic.
"I really depend on my team," Wood said. "I just use their screens, get around them, and just do the best I can."