Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
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As the summer winds down, many high school students out there are preparing for their senior year and what the future may bring. Some are getting ready to earn some scholarships and go to college, just like Zach Hodskins. Hodskins is just like many other soon-to-be seniors out there as he is a high school basketball player, and a mighty fine one at that. Besides being a stand-out star on his AAU team and the back-bone of the Milton Eagles in Alpharetta, Georgia, Hodskins is able to do it all with just one hand. After being born without the lower half of his left arm, the idea of Hodskins playing basketball seemed out of the question, especially at the college level. That improbability was shattered this past week as the one-handed wonder’s hard work earned an offer from one of college basketball’s perennial powerhouses.
It was announced this past week that Billy Donovan, head basketball coach of the Florida Gators, offered a spot to Hodskins as a preferred walk-on for the Class of 2014. Some of you may think that this is just a pity offer from Donovan because the kid has one hand, and those of you would be dead wrong. When you get a chance to watch this kid, you quickly figure out that Hodkins, with one hand, is one of the best shooters in the nation. After shooting almost 60% from the perimeter last season as a junior for the Eagles, there is no question that Hodskins is no joke. Florida may be his only offer at the moment, but with the Blazers of Alabama-Birmingham showing equal interest, it is safe to say that young Hodskins is grabbing the attention of some top-notch college basketball programs.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that Florida only offered Hodskins a preferred walk-on spot, but that offer is an honor within itself. Donovan’s offer means an opportunity and a shot at the next level. A chance to prove the doubters wrong and to show the world of college basketball that one hand is just as good as two. Billy Donovan is a great basketball coach and with the talent that the Gators bring in every year, it is obvious that Donovan is offering this opportunity to Hodskins not as a publicity stunt, but because of the skills that he can bring to Florida.
Zach Hodskins may decide to go somewhere else for school and turn down Florida’s offer, but at least the opportunity was given. Hodskins could’ve given up and never pursued athletics, but with constant hard work and dedication, the one-handed wonder is proving his doubters wrong as well as turning heads at the high school and, soon-to-be, college level.