WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- 17-year-old Hansel Emmanuel is making waves in AAU basketball.
- Emmanuel is praised by his coach and other basketball enthusiasts.
- In other sports, limb deficient athletes also had professional stellar careers.
The AAU basketball league hosted by the Dallas-Fort Worth area has gained attention from basketball fanatics with new promising talents, and one of them is a gifted player named Hansel Emmanuel.
Coming from Dominican Republic, the 17-year-old athlete has been playing with only his right arm, and it is no joke. He plays just like a spitfire, putting on a basketball show as if there are no physical challenges.
Describing Emmanuel, his AAU coach Ricardo Catala said that “he’s been a sensation on social media. At first, people may’ve thought it was a gimmick and didn’t know if he could do it against top talent.”
For Emmanuel, having his left arm amputated ever since he was a kid is just an old story. For people, however, they are still amazed at what he can do despite his physique.
“This might be one of his greatest gifts. Sometimes we don’t look at it as a blessing. We never know what he would’ve been if he had both limbs,” Catala said.
24/7 Sports scouter Brandon Jenkins lauded Emmanuel’s skills and talent.
“It’s a testament to his work ethic and how good he is and special he is. I think there’s always room to grow and the skies the limit for a kid like him,” he said.
It would be interesting to watch how Emmanuel will grow and potentially become a star player in college and even in the NBA.
“If you work hard and believe in your abilities, you can succeed at whatever level you wanna do it. That kid is gonna find his way on to a Division I college basketball program,” said AAU tournament organizer Kellen Buffington.
“If he’s doing that consistently against these types of guys… Why are we even questioning that? The question should be how high is he gonna go… Not if he’s gonna play Division I basketball,” as Catala said.
In other sports, limb deficient athletes have risen to the occasion. In Baseball, a historic moment happened when New York Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott threw a no-hitter even with only one hand. In football, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks drafted Shaquem Griffin despite only having a right hand.
This would be the first in basketball where someone like Emmanuel could achieve his dream of playing professional basketball.
Source: CBS local