By Savannah Haas
Photo by Loren Worthington
Nick Pryor was four when he lost his leg in a shotgun accident over two decades ago, but that never stopped him from playing sports or being active.
“Sports were just every day for me and my friends. I had no head starts from my peers, and I played varsity basketball, football, and baseball, and went on to play club baseball at Indiana University,” Pryor said.
When he moved to Arizona to earn his master’s degree in parks and recreational management from Arizona State University, Pryor discovered Ability360 and amputee basketball, a sport he was quickly drawn to.
“I never played against any other amputees, that was pretty cool. It was something I’d never seen before,” he said.
Pryor went on to join AMP1, the only organized team of amputees playing stand-up basketball. He is now the director for their upcoming tournament.
“When they wanted to put on the tournament, I was really excited to see what everyone else was capable of doing,” Pryor said. “And having AMP1 guys come and for me to compete with them and to know there were amputees that could play, and them asking me to play with them and travel the county, it’s pretty exciting.”
Pryor said the challenge and quality of life you get from sports is what keeps him going and that it’s important for kids and new amputees to see that they can live normal lives and be confident.
“We’ve all been through so much, we’re such a diverse group from all over the country and to bring those kinds of people together and to show them anything is possible really,” Pryor said. “Our mission is to motivate, educate, and inspire.”
AMP1, the only organized team of amputees playing stand-up basketball, is hosting their third annual stand-up amputee basketball tournament, the Cactus Classic on June 9 and 10, 2017
Nick Pryor, AMP1 team member and tournament director, said the goal is to grow the community and to put it out there that amputees are playing basketball and this is the place to do it.
AMP1 member David Banks said the organization hopes to motivate amputees to get up and play.
“AMP1 is such an amazing organization,” Banks said. “It’s more than just about amputees, it’s about people.”
This event will include an introductory amputee sports clinic and a double elimination bracket tournament schedule. Players can choose to participate in either a recreational or a competitive bracket in teams of three or four.
Savannah Haas is a junior at Arizona State University studying journalism with an emphasis in public relations and political science. She is a military child and has lived in many places, including Germany and Pennsylvania, but most recently moved to Gilbert, Arizona. Savannah loves to take group classes at the Sun Devil Fitness Center and has found a passion in daily yoga practice. You can find Savannah at any local coffee shop that plays Mumford and Sons and sells pumpkin scones.