ONE from the HEART - J. Davis; Fresno Bee; 15 Jan. Charles Schleininger corsair firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Dormu ... the23-year old freshman's way of making light of the fact he was born without full use of his left arm, atrophied from birth.
"Got to ... I can't lay down, feeling sorry for myself. No time for that. There's too much life to live."
Playing basketball is demanding enough with two good arms. Performing at the California junior college level is a notch below National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I in many respects.
Imagine dribbling through a press or rebounding in traffic & sticking the ball back in, or guarding the opposing team's best inside player, or taking a bounce pass in full stride & taking a 3-pointer.
With one arm tied behind your back. ...
"At first I thought that Doug would be a role player," says teammate Derrick Douglas. " he proved his point by out scrapping guys & scoring."
...coach George Nessman says Dormu plays about 12 minutes a game. Dormu averages 4.7 points & 2 rebounds, shooting 45% & 32% on 3-point shots.
Nessman accepted Dormu sight unseen....
"I knew we needed his heart & his fight. ... We took the attitude of, Lets overlook the disability & see if he can play. without a doubt he can."
Dormu has complete movement from the shoulder to the elbow in his left arm. He uses the elbow to guide his shot before he releases. His large right hand helps control the ball.
His brothers ... gave Doug no quarter. they pushed him hard, sometimes unmercifully.
..."his family gave him no special treatment. They never let him feel he was different. They were tough on him."
..."His brothers made sure he didn't get a break. They wanted to prepare him for the world."
It wasn't so much that their mother condoned this. She ... understood how cruel people can be, that her son would face wisecracking about his arm at school & probably be ridiculed on the street.
Octavia Dormu's husband died when Doug was 2. Money was tight, & the boys shared one bicycle. The neighborhood wasn't crime infested, but walking the streets at night wasn't recommended.
"Police were always watching me & my brothers ... because we hung out together, the cops thought we were a gang."
... has played socer, baseball, run track & was a pretty good running back. He is able to open a can of soup, drive a car & use the television remote ...
What more is there?
"I can't tie my own shoes. Teammates do it, ... that's about it."
"I've never asked God, Why me?" It's there for a reason."
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