VIDEO: 1-handed Florida guard Zach Hodskins makes NCAA debut
Florida Gators freshman guard Zach Hodskins has no left hand.
Typically, when a basketball player is described this way, the descriptor refers to said player's lack of a reliable left-handed dribble. But Hodskins - quite literally - doesn't have one. He was born with a left arm that ended just below the elbow.
Remarkably, that didn't stop him from excelling at high school basketball in Georgia, nor from earning a walk-on spot with the Florida Gators this past October.
Hodskins made his college basketball debut in the final two minutes of the Gators' season-opening 68-45 win over William & Mary on Friday night, entering the game to rousing applause from the home crowd.
"It’s kinda like the first time I did public speaking," Hodskins said to Richard Johnson of The Independent Florida Alligator after the game, in which he missed his only field goal attempt - a driving layup. "I was really nervous, then after I did it once I was fine. I think that I’m gonna be fine if I get in again.
"I’ve always dreamed of being here, and tonight I feel like I fulfilled that dream and now I’m just gonna take the next step forward. … It didn’t really matter (if I played tonight or not), I was hoping I would, I’m glad I did but I’m glad that my teammates played well."
Hodskins is the first one-handed NCAA player since Kevin Laue, a 6-foot-11 pivot who played for Manhattan from 2009-10 to 2011-12.
- h/t to CBT