High schooler Zach Hodskins is a basketball sharpshooter despite having just one hand (Video)

zach-hodskinsZach Hodskins is a 16-year-old Georgia high school junior and a pretty good basketball player. He shoots over 60 percent from three-point range, and his shooting ability is helping him draw college interest. What makes his story so special is that he does it all despite being born with just one hand.

Hodskins was the subject of a recent feature by USA Today’s Jason Jordan, who says that the youngster averages 12 points per game for Milton High School in Alpharetta, Ga. In a recent game, Hodskins went 7-for-10 on threes.

Hodskins has played on top-level AAU teams, and he says he’s received interest from UAB to play college ball.

Though one would think that having one hand would serve as a disadvantage on the court, Hodskins says it might be why he has such a good shot.

“They say that my shot is more fundamental than kids with two hands because they use their left hand too much to guide their shot,” Hodskins told the Brentwood Home Page last year.

Hodskins comes from an athletic family. His father played college baseball, and his older sister played basketball in high school. He has played sports since a young age and always found a way to excel despite only having one hand. In baseball, Hodskins played first base and hit left-handed, using his right arm to generate bat speed. He also began pitching once he started throwing hard. He played soccer when he was younger, surfed, and he even won his age group in the decathlon.

He also has a fantastic attitude about his arm.

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One hand not stopping Andrew Austen from being multi-sport standout

Andrew Austen may only be 14 years old, but he is still a role model and inspiration despite his young age.

According to a Philly.com profile, Austen lives in the lower East part of Pennsylvania and competes in several different sports despite being born without a right hand. Austen’s parents initially pushed him into soccer figuring it would be easier for him. Though he excelled at the sport, he stopped playing because he found it boring. Instead, Austen now plays a lot of golf, baseball, and basketball. He’s actually so good that some coaches don’t even notice he’s only playing with one hand.

Philly.com’s story says Austen was in a basketball draft for the Narberth League that was conducted in a “blind” manner where coaches did not evaluate players before selecting teams. It wasn’t until he had scored six points in the team’s first game that his coach, Brendan Dougherty, realized Austen doesn’t have a hand.

Not having a hand doesn’t even seem to matter.

“The kid is an athlete, he can just flat-out play,” Dougherty told Philly.com.

Austen is also a pitcher on his American Legion baseball team. He plays in a manner similar to former Angels pitcher Jim Abbott, who was also born without a hand; Austen fields with his left and switches his glove quickly enough to use his left hand to throw.

One team even tested him this summer.

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Jacob Raleigh Loses Arm to Cancer, Makes State Tennis Tournament with Off Hand

Jacob Raleigh is a senior at Letcher County Central High School in Kentucky, and he recently underwent a life-altering procedure: he had his left arm amputated. Raleigh plays tennis for Letcher County, and in March of 2010, he noticed a lump on his wrist that made it too painful to swing a racket. His parents took him to have the wrist examined and doctors discovered he had Epithelioid Sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer that usually strikes young adults, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. He was given three options by doctors to treat the cancer: amputation, radiation, or replace the tendons in his arm with ones from his leg. The third option was easily the most appealing, so they went with it.

Unfortunately the cancer came back and Raleigh had to make the difficult decision to have his left arm amputated in October. Keep in mind that Raleigh is left-handed, so not having his dominant arm meant learning how to do everything with his off-hand.

That included playing tennis.

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