In the movie Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Whether this statement holds true in your heart or not, it’s a valuable message.
Zach Hodskins, a 6’4 high school basketball player at Milton was born without a left hand and a forearm. This young man was provided with his own version of life’s “box of chocolates,” and although some would think that Zach had gotten a bad break, his so-called “liability” only made him stronger.
The desire to want to prove people wrong on a daily basis elevated Zach Hodskins’ play on the basketball court, which ultimately led to a guaranteed spot on the roster with one of the top NCAA basketball programs in the University of Florida. However, the Gators will not provide a school scholarship, but instead make Zach an offer to be a “walk-on” freshman. Zach happily agreed.
The Florida Gators, led by coach Billy Donovan, are regarded as one of the heavyweights in the world of college basketball winning two Division I NCAA tournaments in 2006 and 2007.
Donovan was delighted on bringing Zach aboard and had expressed his feelings towards the Hodskins family.
“We’re first and foremost recruiting you [Zach] as a player. You are an inspiration, but you are here because you’re a good basketball player.”
If you want to know more about Zach, below is a great video of him and his life with basketball. Zach explains how Kevin Laue (only NCAA Division I player with one hand) motivated his passion to play. Check it out and you’ll agree that this kid truly deserves the spot.
I admire people like Zach Hodskins and even though I haven’t the slightest idea of the type of person he is and what he will become, his story is compelling and it’s a great example of what will and determination looks like from the eyes of a true champion. We could certainly learn a thing or two from this young individual.
When asked about his disabilities, Zach responded:
“I welcome it, more than playing basketball,” he said. “Through basketball, I can reach out to those people. It’s a very humbling experience.”
Good for you Zach and a job well done Florida.
Source: Mike Tierney/New York Times
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