Sports Spotlight: Gracen Barsanti competing for Christ Covenant varsity girls basketball with prosthetic leg, positive attitude

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Gracen Barsanti is a freshman varsity girls basketball player for Christ Covenant. The Spartans have players averaging double-digit points and double-digit rebounds. But, Gracen’s play is something most would not be able to do. We feature her in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“Normally it’s not harder than what other people do. Just because I have been around it most of my life. I was born without my leg,” says Christ Covenant freshman basketball player Gracen Barsanti.

Christ Covenant’s Gracen Barsanti is a basketball player. It started at school at a young age and her love grew on the court with her family.

“My brother told me I should play. He always went outside with me and would hang out with me,” says Barsanti.

Learing to play ball with a prosthetic leg took time.

“The leg I have now is like an adult leg. When I first started it was a leg for younger kids,” says Barsanti, “When I would run, it would lock up, I would fall down and it was really hard. But I adapted to it.”

Gracen, with help of her doctor, has learned how to make it work for her.

“She is a shooter, but it takes her a little bit of time to get her shot off,” says Christ Covenant head coach Daniel Entzminger, “But, if she is open she can knock it down.”

She made the Spartans varsity team this year as a freshman.

“Gracen is a very passionate basketball player,” says Entzminger, “She’s worked really hard this year in practice and she has improved a lot.”

“I really like this group. They are very supportive and encouraging. Learning a lot more here,” says Barsanti, “It has really great coaching and really great teammates up here.”

There are a number of health issues Barsanti has to be aware of with her leg to play the game. But the reason she loves basketball, and her team so much, is she gets to be a Spartan.

“I like being treated equally, like anyone else. That feels really good,” Gracen says.

“She bumps into somebody they call a foul on her, she shuffles her feet they call a travel on her, and if she scores a basket everybody cheers for her just like they do for anybody else,” says Entzminger.

This young teenager plans to keep hooping and will no doubt inspire anyone who watches her play for years to come.

“I want them to realize that anyone, no matter what their disability is, they can do anything anyone else can,” says Barsanti, “People with disabilities are equal to people who don’t. Even though it is harder for people, you can still overcome that very easily as long as they keep on trying to do that.”