College Basketball Player Born With One Arm Shares Her Inspirational Story

Baileigh Sinaman-Daniel was removed off her high school basketball team’s varsity roster during her final year three years ago.

The now-20-year-old told WLOS, “I got bullied a lot. I got called a whole bunch of names, even when I did play in high school. I got called names by people from my high school and people from other schools we would go play. But I never once let it stop me.”

Despite the fact that she was born with only one arm, Sinaman-Daniel chose to follow her passion of playing in college.

“I remembered that I still had film from when I played, so I made little three-minute clips of me trying to play basketball, even if it was little things like a good pass or me getting out of traps. I sent that film out to as many coaches as I possibly could. And within all the no’s, I kept trying to tell myself there would at least be one coach to maybe say yes,” she recounted to GMA.

Soon after, Robin Martin-Davis, the athletic director and head coach of Warren Wilson College’s women’s basketball team, invited her to a prospect day at the Swannanoa, North Carolina, institution.

“Baileigh came to that. She drove hours with her dad to come to that prospect day. So, I knew right away, she was motivated. She was really great on defense, and I couldn’t tell that she was any different than any other player. And so, I liked that she didn’t ask for accommodations or anything of that nature. She just played,” Martin-Davis recalled.

According to Sinaman-Daniel, she enjoyed the environment and the Warren Wilson Lady Owls didn’t let her down, so she returned the following year.

“They didn’t tell me to stay out of this drill because it did require two hands. Coach Martin, she never once mentioned that. She kind of just let me do me, and I loved that,” she expressed.

Currently, the hopeful athlete is a psychology major who not only plays guard for the Division III team but also for the women’s volleyball team at the liberal arts institution. Coach Martin-Davis believes Sinaman-Daniel can compete with her fellow student-athletes.

The dedicated coach said, “I wasn’t going to give her accommodations unless they were necessary. I hold Baileigh to the same standard as everybody else. She doesn’t get to look at me and say, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s not you can’t do it. We’re gonna figure it out — unless it’s something like for jump roping. We got her a Skip It [toy] this year. There really are times that it’s appropriate.”

Sinaman-Daniel’s love of athletics shines through in her temperament and hard work on the court.Sinaman-Daniel and the coach both expressed hope that others will be able to see past hurdles and discover their own distinct abilities.

Martin-Davis said, “I think it’s so easy to find the negatives in every situation and we take a lot of stuff for granted. And when you look at Baileigh, there’s no room for it. I look at Baileigh every day and think like, ‘She’s out here doing the same stuff. People strive to play college basketball, especially women, and Baileigh is doing it, and she’s not complaining [about any challenges].’”

To which Sinaman-Daniel added, “I really just want people to take away that you really should bet on yourself, even if you feel like nobody really has your back out here in this world or if you keep getting told no or that ‘You can’t’ or that ‘You won’t.’ Don’t listen to what other people say at all, because if I did, I don’t think I would have been here. I would have stopped the minute that I got cut my senior year of high school if I did listen, but I kept trusting myself and I trusted the process and now I’m here.”

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