MILTON, Ga. (CBS Atlanta) – A Georgia teen born with one hand is about to live out a life long dream after being recruited to join one of the nation’s top college basketball teams.
Zach Hodskins was born without the lower half of his left arm, but that didn’t stop him from playing a sport he has loved for years. The 17-year-old basketball star will be joining the top-10 ranked University of Florida, overcoming the stereotypes of his disability that have followed him for years.
“You can accomplish anything, you know,” Hodskins told CBS News. “Coming up, you know, I had a lot of doubters saying, you know, ‘He won’t play at the highest A1 level,’ but I would never listen to those people.”
YouTube videos of Hodskins doing what he loves best at Milton High School have been viewed millions of times and his skills on the court caught the attention of scouts nationwide.
“His birth defect is-really he uses that as a strength,” scout Joe Davis explained to CBS News. “If he ever has to make a left-handed pass, he’ll just wrap it around his back and make that pass.”
Hodskins’ high school coach said that in his 20 years of coaching basketball, that the player’s inspirational story has been one of the key highlights of his coaching career.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Milton High School Basketball Coach Matt Kramer said to CBS News. “I’ve never been around anything like it.”
But for the teenager defying all the odds, he just sees himself as anyone else trying to live out his life to the fullest.
“I just see myself as another player that’s worked hard to reach his goals,” Hodskins told CBS News.