Sports

Documentary short

Heart over height: Johnny Ortiz’s journey from underdog to basketball sensation

Sign up to receive breaking news alerts from the Globe http://bos.gl/2RQPbTu

The lucky ones are born to win.

Thanks to their genes, they are bigger, stronger, faster. They possess all the natural gifts needed to become top athletes.

For everyone else? It comes down to hustle. You have to outwork, outrun, and outsmart. Every single day.

Advertisement

Johnny Ortiz, perhaps Boston’s most unlikely basketball star, figured that out a long time ago. And he’s never looked back.

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The Globe's most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Ortiz, a senior at Brighton High School, has helped lead his teams to victory not with long legs or a formidable wingspan. He’s relied on his heart, tenacious spirit, and mastery of the game’s nuances. It’s all packed inside a tiny frame topped by an impressive Afro.

“Height,” Ortiz says, “is nothing.”

This Boston Globe documentary short premiered at Globe Live in October.

Scott LaPierre can be reached at scott.lapierre@globe.com; Taylor de Lench can be reached at taylor.delench@globe.com.