At six feet and four inches, Zach Hodskins can dunk and dribble with the rest of them. He also has one of the smoothest shooting strokes you'll ever see. In one game, he even made seven three-pointers, attracting attention from college scouts everywhere.
He also has just one hand.
Despite his limitations, the 200-pound guard out of Milton High School in Georgia is considered one of the hottest prospects in the nation, so much that schools like Alabama-Birminghan and Birmingham Southern were offering him full scholarships. Kentucky Wildcats coach John Calipari also offered him a spot on the team as a preferred walk-on and were considered to have the inside track to Hodskins as he was born in Lexington.
However, Florida Gators coach Billy Donovan wooed him the most, offering him an opportunity to play more, not just act as bench filler. At Florida, Hodskins will still be a preferred walk-on, meaning that he will not receive a scholarship in 2013-14. He can, though, get a full scholarship in the following years should his on-court performance show that he deserves it.
Hodskins announced his commitment on Twitter on October 20.
The tweet read: "Iv officialy committed to the University of Florida basketball. I know God has put me in the right place #GatorNation #GatorBasketball"
Florida is a perennial national championship contender, having won the NCAA Division I championship in 2006 abd 2007. They reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight time in 2013, losing to eventual runner-up Michigan. Past Florida players include current NBA players Joakim Noah, Chandler Parsons, Al Horford, David Lee and Corey Brewer.
Hodskins, a 17-year-old, was born perfectly healthy, except for his missing lower right arm.
"He was born a fully healthy kid, just without his other hand," Zach's father Bob told the Courier Journal in an earlier interview. "We knew that we had to accept it and just live."
"They don’t think I can play or they don’t know what to think, but it’s when I hit those first few shots or when I go by them is when they wake up. That’s when they start playing me hard." Hodskins told USA Today in a 2012 interview. "That’s what I love. I know I’ve just earned their respect.