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One-Armed Basketball Phenom Beats the Odds

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to basketball, Zach Hodskins’ skills are undeniable.  The 17-year-old hits 60 percent of his shots, and his passes are electrifying.

The high school student from Georgia has turned into a national sensation.  His highlight reel has been viewed more than 3.5 million times on YouTube.  The big shocker: He is playing with just one hand.

Zach was born without the lower half of his left arm, and if his parents had any worries about Zach’s future, he quickly extinguished those fears.

“After he became active and could crawl out of his crib and he could crawl around, we could tell almost immediately, you know, everything was going to be fine.  This kid was awesome, he could do anything,” said Bob Hodskins, Zach’s father.

Zach learned to adapt at a young age, and he never let anything deter him from his love of sports.  He has participated in everything from basketball to baseball and surfing.

“I really didn’t think about it coming up.  The only time I really felt it was when I was out in public and people would look at me, but when I’m playing sports, it’s kind of a different thing,” said Zach.

Basketball became his first love.  He developed the determination to succeed to prove doubters wrong and demonstrate all that is possible.

“I just love basketball so much, and my motivation was so great that, even if I wanted to give it up, I just couldn’t.  It’d tear me up.  So, I just kept goin’ hard every day, and I made it,” said Zach.

Now, his skills are catching the attention of several big-time college basketball programs, including two-time men’s national champion, the University of Florida Gators.  Zach was offered a guaranteed spot on next year’s team.

“It was just a dream come true.  And, I was so happy to finally have that happen,” said Zach.

Zach said his offer is all he can think about right now.  He plans to take his basketball skills to the next level to show that it can be done.

“Maybe it’s more about helping those other people out there, who do need an inspiration, and a motivation to keep movin’ on in their lives,” said Zach, who adds that he’s met so many other kids with missing limbs.  “They’re telling me that I’m an inspiration to them, and like, how can they say that to me?  Cause they’re inspiring me just as much.  And you know, I just tell ‘em that right back.”

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