Midland High's Rayshad Chambers excels despite hearing impairment

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Midland High boys varsity basketball roster will tell you Rayshad Chambers is 6'4," a Freshman and plays Forward. What it doesn't tell you is that without a special hearing device, that's usually hiding underneath a headband, Rayshad Chambers would be deaf.

Imagine one second you are playing a game and can hear everything.The whistle, loud cheers, coaches and the next? Silence.

That's exactly what happens to Rayshad Chambers when an electronic implant that allows him to hear, falls out on the court.

"Sound just goes out. When you put it back in, it comes back. It's kinda crazy but you gotta deal with it," said Chambers.

Chambers was born with a hearing disability that got progressively worse, to the point where at 3-years-old, he had to have a cochlear implant put in, which provides a sense of sound to someone who would otherwise be deaf.

"I'm very thankful cause without it I wouldn't be able to hear and things would be very different," said Chambers.

He has an idea as to how different things would be. When he forgets his headband, which keeps the device as secure as possible, he's had to take it out and play full games without the ability to hear. Relying on his ability to read lips.

For most of the time, when everything is hooked up properly, he's not unlike any other member of the Midland High team. Except for the fact that he's the only freshman.

"For a Freshman, he hasn't backed down at all. At the beginning, he had a little doubt if he was ready for the Varsity and we said, 'Oh no, you're ready for the Varsity and now he's a starter for us and he has a lot of ability,'" said Coach Shannon Hooker.

In the classroom, he learns right along with the rest of his peers, but he sits at the front of the class, but not necessarily because he can't hear.

"Yeah, I have to sit at the front because my mom makes me," said Chambers.

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