PRINCETON, Ind. (WEHT) – Becoming the starting point guard is impressive on any team, especially a 3A team in Indiana where basketball is life. But Princeton’s Lexi Smith has proven that she can do it all.

“Obviously when you’re start as a sophomore, get varsity time as a freshman, you’re a heck of a player,” said Tigers’ head coach Travis Connor. “To do that just a little bit different than most folks and be better than most folks says a whole lot about what Lexi Smith is made up of.”

Lexi was born with Rubber Band Syndrome where the umbilical cord was wrapped around her wrist and stopped it from growing. She has had to learn how to do life with only one hand, but she said it hasn’t really been a hindrance.

“It hasn’t really affected it that much because I just see myself as everybody else and not really having one less hand or whatever,” said Smith.

Not only is Lexi a great basketball player, averaging over nine points per game, she’s also on the cross country, softball and soccer teams. All of this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Lexi said the only thing that’s really been tough is bearing the heat in practice, but she brings a smile wherever she goes.

“Lexi is energy both on the court and off the court,” added Connor. “There’s not a moment that Lexi doesn’t say something that doesn’t have everybody in the gym smiling. She’s just that that kid that’s good to be around on the court.”

Her coach and teammates said she maintains a positive attitude all the time, no matter what.

“Life is going to be full of challenges, life is going to be full of obstacles,” said Connor. “And Lexi understands that. I think it’s her faith. She’s a very grounded person she understands, she doesn’t walk around with ‘why me? Why am I different?’ She understands that she’s got a purpose on this life, and she knows that there’s more important things than this life and she understands serving others. And I think she kind of takes takes it upon herself to serve others by showing others and demonstrating to others that we’re capable of things even if others tell us we’re not a lot of fun.”

On the court, Lexi says she is just like any other athlete shooting hoops. She said the other players support the ball with their other hand, but she just uses her nub. Her teammates said she is always giving her all at practice.

“Sometimes if you mess up or something, you have to do push ups,” said Azaryon Wesley. “Like even when we’re doing something like that she would never be like ‘I’m just not gonna do this.’ She would either try it – she always attempts everything that we have to do, even if she can’t do it. She attempts and then [if she] can’t do it, she’ll find an alternative or she’ll ask for an alternative.”

Throughout the adversity, Lexi said she wants everyone to treat her like anyone else.

“I like it,” added Lexi. “I don’t want them to treat me differently. I want them to treat me like everyone else. I don’t see myself as any less.”

Lexi says her friends and family have always pushed her to do better and work harder. Anything she has wanted to do, she said her parents would encourage her. She even said her brother would go extra hard on her playing basketball at home. Lexi said she has always looked up to Bethany Hamilton, the professional surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack, because she would do anything she put her mind to. She said that’s always been her mentality as well.

“If I can do it, anyone can do it,” said Lexi. “Just put your mind to it and go out and do it.”