There are countless videos of athletes, both professional and amateur, performing sick moves on the basketball court that have gone viral. But, not nearly as many of athletes who only have one arm.
Hansel Enmanuel is one in a few. Born in the Dominican Republic, he moved to the United States in 2021 to play basketball after videos of him shooting dunks in his hometown went viral.
He’s got mad skills despite the adversity that comes with having one less arm than most other basketball players.
A viral sensation
Hansel Enmanuel lost his left arm in an accident when he was six years old. While playing in his hometown in the Dominican Republic, a wall collapsed onto him and he was left trapped for two hours. As a result, his arm had to be amputated above the elbow.
With one less arm, he was unable to pursue baseball, the sport he originally grew up playing. Instead, he took after his father and began playing basketball.
Years later, Hansel started getting noticed. After he posted videos of his playing skills online, many of them went viral. Most notably, they were picked up by the head coach of Life Christian Academy, a high school in Kissimmee, Florida.
Life Christian Academy’s head coach, Moises Micael, actually used to play alongside Hansel’s dad in the Dominican Republic as well. With this connection, he was able to convince the young point guard to accept a scholarship to play for the school’s basketball team, the Lions.
With the Lions, it was reported that Hansel averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds per game. His disability never proved to be a hindrance to his skill.
Opportunities in reach
In the recent professional-amateur Drew League, Hansel Enmanuel has been using his time on the court to prove the hype already surrounding his name.
Despite the many big-name NBA players showing up to play at the Drew League themselves, it was Hansel Enmanuel who was taking the spotlight. And rightfully so, because even with what many would consider a disability, he plays even better than other players who have both arms.
His skills drew a lot of attention among college teams. As early as last year, he received his first Division I offer from Tennesse State University. This year, he was also offered opportunities from the Univerisity of Memphis, Northwestern State University, and Bethune-Cookman University.
And just this week, he announced that he had made his decision, committing to the NSU Tigers.
And while we sports fans all love a good underdog story, Hansel Enmanuel doesn’t play like he’s an underdog. He plays with the skill and zest of any other talented basketball player his age—perhaps even better than most.
At only 18 years old, Hansel Enmanuel is already one of the most recognized basketball players his age. He currently has 1.5 million followers on Instagram, is represented by a major sports agency, and is on his way to playing college ball.
With his apparent dedication, passion, and hard work, who knows how far he could go? If he can’t prove to you that anything is possible, then we aren’t sure what will.