Athlete triumphs even as rare infection takes his legs

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- Bryce Cruz has become a high school basketball star.

But these days, many people see him as a baseball legend playing in the game of his life.

Bryce's story actually starts on the Dekaney High School football field when he was a star athlete in 10th grade, and a strange pain he felt in his back.

"They thought I had back spasms, and then I went home and went to sleep," Cruz said. "And I woke up and could not feel my legs."

Overnight, Bryce couldn't walk. He would learn that a rare staph infection in his spine would sideline him and ultimately confine him to a wheelchair.

"At first I didn't believe it. I thought, 'why me?' I didn't know what to think at first," Bryce said. "It just hit me all in one moment."

His coach, Anthony Williams, remembers getting the news.

"Even as his coach, I asked, 'Why this kid, God?' But, he's the chosen one. He's the one who can fight through this," Williams said.

Boy, did he ever fight. Bryce says he channeled his anger and his fear into getting stronger.
Never complaining about his situation, never giving up. And then he found basketball.

"It looked kind of cool, but at the same time hard," Bryce said.

Up for the challenge, he joined the team. He's competed with the best in the state and on the track, he's now throwing the shot put.

"He just doesn't let adversity hold him down," Williams said.

Just weeks ago, Bryce was offered a full ride scholarship to University of Texas-Arlington.

Bryce is a success story, and the best has yet to come.

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