HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Soon March Madness will be upon us, and not just for the college teams, but for the high school teams as well. One team from Highlands Ranch is looking to build from last year’s trip to the Final Four, but for one of the players, he’s just happy to be playing at all.
When looking for a quick-tempo, high scoring basketball team, look no further than Mountain Vista High School. Averaging nearly 80 points a game, the Golden Eagles are one of the best teams in 5-A with a 20-1 record.
“We did say we wanted to lead the state in scoring, and we are an up-tempo team. You’d be surprised in high school basketball, there are not many teams that push the ball very hard,” Mountain Vista Head Coach Bob Wood said. “I want my guys to run and get layups, and the more layups we get, the better we’re going to do. I’m sure we lead the state in shooting layups.”
It takes a lot to keep up with Mountain Vista – just ask senior Bailey Roby. It’s his first year on the varsity team, and his 17th year with prosthetic legs.
“I started to wear prosthetic legs when I was one year old,” Roby said.
Roby was born missing a fibula in each leg and had only three toes on each foot. So, at seven months old, doctors amputated both legs below the knee. But the loss of his legs has never stopped Roby from moving forward, especially when it comes to basketball.
“I just like shooting hoops, play some defense,” Roby said. “I like to work really hard.”
And that hard work has paid off. Roby has seen action in 10 games this season — all in mop up duty — but he’s made the most of it.
“I think Bailey probably leads the team in shots per minute, so he’s not shy and the guys try to get him the ball,” Wood said. “If he’s open, he’s going to make it.”
Roby has scored 14 points this season with 12 of them coming from behind the three-point line, but one of those stands out among the rest.
“My favorite moment is making a ‘three’ when we played Ponderosa,” Roby said. “It was my first ‘three’ at home.”
Roby’s efforts have made him a bit of hero, not only with the student body, but with fans and teammates.
“Everybody in the school, everybody is super pumped he’s out here,” senior Graham Smith said. “It makes everybody feel good.”
“It’s just real cool that he wants to come out an challenge himself, hang out with the guys, it’s pretty fun,” senior Jake Pemberton said.
“The other night we had, I think it was a four- or five-year-old at the game, who was a double amputee, and he was watching Bailey play. He just had a big smile on his face and was so excited when Bailey got in and made a basket for him,” Wood said. “It’s inspirational and it’s great to see the response of the school, the student body, the administration and the parents … everybody is a little bit closer because Bailey is part of our team.”
Roby is hopeful to get into another game this season, but with the playoffs looming he knows it’s unlikely. Either way he’s enjoyed every minute he’s played.