Ja’leah Williams, 18, has always excelled in athletics. She began as a runner competing at the state and national level in track and field, and went on to win a gold medal in the Junior Olympics.
When she was 11, she fell in love with basketball and quickly rose to elite status, playing both for her school team and on a traveling team.
Ja’leah learned she had idiopathic scoliosis with a 67 degree curvature during her junior year of high school. She underwent surgery with Dr. Stephen George, Director of Spine Surgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Although recovery was tough and Ja’leah worried at times what the future would hold, she was back on the court just in time for the 2019 season and stronger than ever.
In fact, her school’s basketball team finally beat their rival team in a game where Ja’leah scored 27 points. She was also named player of the year.
Ja’leah serves as an inspiration to young athletes everywhere in that a medical diagnosis does not preclude success. Ja’leah is looking forward to her senior year and what the future holds. Her goal: a college basketball career.