Mr. Speaker, once Brendan West picked up a basketball, he was never able to put it down. Nicknamed ‘‘Beebo,’’ Brendan is a 22 year old Special Olympian from Houston, Texas, who has become an aficionado of the game of basketball.
Beebo has Roberts Syndrome, a genetic disorder that delays the growth of limbs and facial features. He was born without arms, so naturally he learned to do everything with his feet.
His father, Ray, and his mother, Ann, adopted Beebo when he was 6 weeks old. Doctors told his parents he wouldn’t be able to do anything other than eat and go to the bathroom.
His diagnosis didn’t keep Beebo down for long, continuing to defy the odds. Just about anytime and anywhere, you can find a smile on Beebo’s face and a basketball between his feet.
Beebo first learned how to play basketball when he was in Jr. High. With just his feet, he is able to dribble and shoot the ball with deadly accuracy.
His basketball skills have earned him multiple titles and propelled him forward as an award winning Special Olympian. Beebo was even honored with an honorary ESPY, the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, last year.
The basketball star has shot hoops with NBA player James Harden and even played with the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters. Beebo is not only an amazing basketball player, but also an exceptional bowler and tennis player, winning gold medals in both events.
Perhaps the most shining quality Beebo exudes is his personality. When you step onto a basketball court, you can hear Beebo’s laugh echoing from every corner.
His enthusiasm for the game of basketball and life is infectious, and he inspires everyone around him. I am honored to be able to spread the inspiring story of Beebo.
His resiliency, determination, and grit all are to be admired and something we should all seek in our lives. He is the perfect embodiment of what it means to be a Special Olympian and Houstonian.
Keep playing basketball, Beebo, we will all be cheering him on.