NCAA Men's Basketball

One-handed player commits to Florida

10/21 7:51 PM

Zach Hodskins was born without the lower half of his left arm because of a birth defect, which would seem to make a basketball career impossible. But the 6-foot-4 high school guard will be a walk-on with the Florida Gators next season.

Zach Hodskins, who was born without the lower half of his left arm, committed to Florida on Saturday as a preferred walk-on.

"It's always been my dream growing up," Hodskins said. "I never expected it to be like this, but the hard work has paid off. I'm ecstatic I'm going to be a Florida Gator."

The Lexington, Ky., native had been in contact with several schools -- including Kentucky and coach John Calipari -- but felt his best chance to play was in Gainesville.

"At Florida, I'm going to have every opportunity to get on the floor and play," he said. "The situation was different at Kentucky."

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Hodskins, who's coming off a strong summer on the AAU circuit, is looking to be more than a feel-good story for Billy Donovan and the Gators.

"I'm coming on as a preferred walk-on, but I'll be treated like every other player," Hodskins said. "If I work hard, Coach Donovan told me I'll have a chance to play."

Florida (29-8) lost in the Elite Eight to Michigan last season.


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