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Who is Hansel Enmanuel, the one-armed basketball player who will play in the NCAA next season?

From tragedy to triumph, the young prospect out of Florida is turning heads with his talent and even more so, because he’s got one arm.

Who is Hansel Enmanuel, the one-armed basketball player who will play in the NCAA next season?
Maddie MeyerGetty Images

If there’s one name that’s been turning heads in the world of basketball of late, it’s that who Hansel Emmanuel, but who is he, where did he come from and above all, how’s he so good with one arm?

Hansel Emmanuel commits Northwestern State

With reports now confirming that high school basketball standout Hansel Emmanuel has committed to play college basketball at Northwestern State, it’s now only a matter of time before we get to see the one-armed prodigy on an even bigger stage. It’s understood that Emmanuel also had offers from Memphis, Tennessee State and Bethune-Cookman, but in the end it’s the Demons who will get the pleasure of working with the future star.

Interestingly, other reports suggested that Emmanuel also considered playing for the Overtime Elite, an Atlanta-based basketball league that describes itself as an organization which is providing “the world’s most talented young basketball players a better pathway to becoming professional athletes.” Ultimately, the guard who is currently a senior at Life Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Florida committed and he we are. Yet, the obvious question remains: How does a 6′4″ combo guard who averages an impressive 25.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 3.4 blocks per game, do so with only one arm? Indeed, that was the question on everyone’s mind when he appeared in the recent Drew League. Before we go there, however, let’s take a look back.

The accident that took Hansel Emmanuel’s arm

When Hansel Enmanuel was just 6 years old, a wall collapsed and fell on top of him. Trapped for over two hours, his father would later find and rescue him, but unfortunately for the young boy, it was too late for his left arm which sadly, would have to be amputated just below the shoulder. “You remember everything [from the accident] because a blow like this is not forgotten, so quickly regardless of all that he is achieving, thanks to God,” he said.

Due to the amputation, Emmanuel whose full name is Hansel Enmanuel Donato Domínguez could no longer play baseball, as a result he picked a basketball. Incidentally, his father was a professional basketballer in the Dominican Republic at the time and so he had support. Referring to the accident as “a blessing,” Donato Domínguez explained: “God always has a purpose. I am living His mission, what He wants me to do in this life. Everything I do, I do it with God first and for my family, they are everything [to me],” he said. If there is one that’s clear it’s that, as tragic as that moment was, it clearly did nothing to stop the young prospect from fighting tooth and nail to become what he is today, which in case you’re wonder a 3-star recruit and the 22nd-ranked high school prospect out of Florida, according to 247Sports. An attitude he maintains to this day, recently explaining in an interview that he doesn’t want people to “see me as a special kid who has a disability. [I wish] that the only see me as a great player who will go as far as many. That I am a good player,”

How was Hansel Emmanuel recruited?

Though one might think that Emmanuel’s profile is more about entertainment than substance, that would be a mistake. The truth is, the boy’s got game. As mentioned above, the young star is currently on the roster at Life Christian Academy and the reason for that is because head coach Moisés Michell was the one who saw videos of him playing. At that point Michell did what was necessary to bring Emmanuel to the U.S.A. according to reports. Once there, it didn’t take long before crowds in Florida understood that the 16-year-old was a genuine star in the making. With an average of 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists per game it shouldn’t be hard to see why.

Today, Donato Domínguez continues to live with Michell and Ángel Pimentel Montas, as well as another student hosted by Michell. Speaking about the two prospects that he has under his roof, Michell couldn’t hide his excitement. “These guys are something else, not because they are Dominican or because I am training them, but the dedication and how they perform on the court has led us all to give 200 percent,” he said. With that, there’s only one thing to say: Keep eye out for the name Hansel Enmanuel Donato Domínguez because he’s going to be a good one


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