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Published on August 18th, 2013 | by HubSM Contributor

Zach Hodskins Overcoming Amazing Obstacle in Pursuit of Hoop Dreams

I had never heard of Zach Hodskins until this morning.  I’m willing to bet most of you haven’t either.  Fortunately, someone shared a link to an inspirational story today.

Athletes overcome many things all the time. Sometimes the obstacle is poverty, death of parents or something like that. Others defy odds by going against positional stereotypes or prototypical size. We have all seen the guy that is viewed as too small or too slow succeed many times.

The great thing about sports is that the most important attributes are heart and will. While all athletes face hurdles at some point during their careers, some face more difficulties than others.  It’s then that the size of their heart and the strength of their will show up. Many of us would give up if faced with these circumstances, but not Zach Hodskins.

When I first saw this story, memories of former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Abbott came rushing back to me. For those of you that don’t know about or remember Abbott, his story is nothing short of amazing. Hodskins’ story is no less remarkable.

Jim Abbott spent ten seasons as a MLB pitcher. On its own, that isn’t all that special. But then you must realize he did so without his right hand. Abbott was born without a right hand, so he would rest his glove on the end of his right arm while pitching. He would than slip it onto his left hand to field the ball. It was truly an unforgettable thing to watch. Abbott was determined his physical limitation would be anything but a limitation.

So what is so special about Zach Hodskins? Well, Zach was dealt a similar fate to Abbott; he was born without the lower half of his left arm.

Currently, he plays guard for his high school hoops team in Alpharetta, Georgia. Some of you might say, “So what? High Schools always accommodate guys like this”.  But that’s the thing.  Hodskins doesn’t just play, he is really good.  Much like Abbott, Zach refuses to let his birth defect get in the way of his dreams.

It’s a pretty safe bet you will see Hodskins playing college hoops next year.  It is really a matter of where he will play at this point.  He has made major waves on the AAU circuit. As a result, college coaches have taken notice of his talents. University of AlabamaBirmingham and Birmingham Southern will both potentially offer him a full basketball scholarship, although neither has officially done so yet.

This is just the beginning for Zach; Billy Donovan has extended a preferred walk-on invitation to Hodskins. In other words, Zach would enter the program as a walk-on but would have the opportunity to earn and be granted a scholarship later in his career. This is no small accomplishment as the Florida Gators have been a premier program in college hoops for a while now.

While we don’t know what turn his career will take next, Hodskins has already overcome a great obstacle and should be an inspiration to all.  He has shown us that nothing is beyond reach if you want it bad enough.  Best of luck to this young man as his future unfolds and his basketball career continues.  He has certainly earned the opportunities coming his way.


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