10/21/2014 11:58 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Losing The Use Of Her Legs Didn't Stop This Teen From Becoming A Basketball Champ

Erica Wilson was an average, active 12-year-old who never missed a dance practice -- until she lost the use of her legs to a neurological disorder called transverse myelitis. She feared she'd spend the rest of her life on the sidelines. Then, she discovered the joy of wheelchair basketball.

Earlier this month, Erica's story was spotlighted in a video from Gatorade's "Win From Within" series. In the video, Erica remembers feeling "very pessimistic" when she first joined the Birmingham, Alabama’s Lakeshore Lakers wheelchair basketball team.

At the time, she was still getting used to using her wheelchair in everyday life and lacked confidence on the court. "First season I was a bench-rider," she said. "I didn't get to play much, but I played enough to realize that I wanted to play more."

With motivation and hard work, Erica became a starting player for her team in the national invitational tournament later that year. Today, she sees her past struggles as a blessing, saying, "I don't think I would change anything."

[h/t Tireball]

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