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7-foot-2 Greg Stewart stands out at Sitting Volleyball World Championships

by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm •  Published: July 14, 2010

EDMOND — Greg Stewart is impossible to miss.

There's the shaggy mohawk. There's the prosthetic arm. But really, those things aren't what you notice first about the Canadian competing this week at the sitting volleyball world championships.

He stands out when he stands up.

Stewart is 7-foot-2.

Even in a sport where everyone has to keep their keister on the floor, that height makes him a big deal. His head nearly reaches the top of the net, which is a little over three and a half feet tall. His arms extend a couple feet over the net.

There are other big guys playing in the tournament at the University of Central Oklahoma, but none are any more physically intimidating than Stewart.

"You've got to feed off it," he said.

He pounds spikes. He blocks shots. More than anything, he changes what opponents do just because he's so big.

Stewart, who was born with only half of his left arm, has always been tall. When he started playing adaptive sports as a 15-year-old, he was already 6-foot-8.

"I was skinny, though," he said in his deep baritone voice. "Whew."

He shook his head.

"I was like 6-8, 170 pounds."

No longer a beanpole, Stewart now weighs 290 pounds and has a thick upper body. He smashed a spike off an opponent earlier in the week — unintentionally, mind you — and the ricochet almost hit the rafters.

Heck, a couple years ago when the U.S. was preparing to face Canada, one of the coaches sat on a chair and pounded spikes down at the players in an attempt to emulate Stewart.

This guy is a serious athlete.

He plays basketball for Thompson Rivers University in his hometown of Kamloops, British Columbia. The conference's defensive player of the year led the league last season in rebounding, block shots and field goal percentage.

He hopes to play professionally overseas one day.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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