Accident doesn’t keep young athlete from pursuing dreams

first_imgCANYON COUNTRY – After severing his arm in a childhood accident nine years ago, Malik Singletary has made quite a comeback. The arm was successfully reattached, giving Singletary partial use of the limb, and the ordeal hasn’t stopped the 13-year-old from developing into one of the Santa Clarita Valley’s top young basketball and football players. “I just decided I would never give up. I think I can be an inspiration to other kids,” Singletary said. The accident nearly killed him when he was four. After getting his arm sliced off at the bicep when he stuck it in a washing machine, Singletary underwent 14 hours of reconstructive surgery. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It was completely severed, and the doctors weren’t sure if the veins and arteries would work again. There was only a 25 percent chance,” said Singletary’s father, Lamont. “I guess my son has really overcome the odds but I’m just thankful he’s still alive. He could have bled to death or gotten gangrene. There were so many different obstacles, and we’re just blessed he’s still here.” An eighth-grader at Sierra Vista Junior High in Canyon Country, Malik averaged about eight points and seven rebounds in basketball this past fall. In his second year of youth football this season, he starts as both an offensive and defensive lineman and is helping the Canyon Country Outlaws to a 6-0 record. His left arm is about seven inches shorter than his right arm and he can’t straighten it. Singletary usually wears long sleeves because he’s sensitive about the severe scarring and deformation. Because the 5-foot-9 Singletary continues to grow, he probably will need another operation soon. But Singletary is far from handicapped. “Malik is a really strong player,” said his basketball coach, Tad Gates. “He doesn’t have much movement with his left arm, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him complain. He’s a good kid.” Naturally, his father loves watching his son play. “It’s totally awesome. It’s a blessing and I’m ecstatic about the effort that he’s put forward,” the elder Singletary said. Malik remembers the accident like yesterday. “My brothers and I were just playing around, and we dared each other to put our arm into the washing machine,” he said. “I didn’t want them to think I was chicken, so I did it. The scary thing was when my arm got caught, the machine starting pulling me in. If I wasn’t so tall for a four-year-old, that might have been it.” By now, Singletary has some perspective on the injury, and he considers himself lucky. “It was pretty bloody. You read in the news about other kids who have gone through things like this – I could have died,” he said. His father said it was at least a year before Malik was himself again. “To this day, my son doesn’t like to look at his arm. That’s why he wears long sleeves all day long every day,” he said. It’s a small price to pay. Singletary has quite a future as an athlete. He’s a neighbor and family friend of Canyon High’s star football player, J.J. DiLuigi, and next fall Singletary plans to enroll at Canyon and continue his athletic career. Gerry Gittelson, (661) 257-5218 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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