Nothing Short of a Miracle

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By WSIL Sports

NORRIS CITY -- Briar Short was less than a month into his junior season as starting point guard for the NCOE Fighting Cardinals when doctors discovered a large tumor on his spinal cord.

The tumor was so large, it covered four vertebrae in his neck.

Shortly before Christmas of 2012, a 12-doctor team operated 12 hours to remove the tumor.  The doctors said there was a 90 percent chance that he would end up paralyzed.

Briar fought the odds, saying he knew God would take care of him.  14 months later, he walks with a bit of a limp and has had to re-learn several different motor skills on his right side, which was his dominant hand.

Through it all, Briar remained committed to the Cardinals.  He goes to all the team's practices and keeps stats during the games.  His teammates say he inspires them.  Briar says they push him to continue to work to get better.

Monday night, with great cooperation from the Wayne City Indians and head coach Russ Gerlach, Briar suited up for NCOE's senior night.  He started and had the game's first shot, an uncontested three from the top of the key, but it rimmed out.  Play was stopped as Fighting Cardinals' head coach Bryon Graven subbed for him.

In the final minute of a game that NCOE led comfortably, Briar went back in the game, and he did not miss on his second chance, swishing a left handed three-pointer from right in front of the NCOE fan section. 

Not bad for a guy who was not supposed to walk again.

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