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Basketball player with one arm changing game on and off court

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jan 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 16:41:34-05

Hansel Enmanuel is a social media sensation, turning heads on and off the basketball court.

"I got one arm, but that's not different," Enmanuel said. "Like, that's going to happen. You don't know. That's life."

The 19-year-old Dominican player went viral in 2019 with Instagram videos showing him dunking with ease in high school. It helped him earn a scholarship last summer to Northwestern State in Louisiana — an NCAA Division 1 school.

"Every opportunity he gets he makes it about his team, and he makes it about Northwestern State," coach Corey Gipson said. "We're so blessed to have a person like that."

Though the college freshman averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds per game as a high schooler, his basketball wasn't always effortless.

When he was six, he lost his left arm after a wall collapsed on him. 

Just months later, he took up basketball, struggling at first.

"When I was running, I was falling because I don't have a balance," Enmanuel said.

But, he never gave up.

"Even though he has a setback, he doesn't let that faze him," his teammate Cedric Garrett said. "He just continues to grow and continue as a person, just trying to get better every day."

His hard work and inspiring story has already earned him business connections with brands like AdidasGatoradeOakley and Giorgio Armani. Rapper J. Cole even featured him in a video clip.

Enmanuel has used his business deals to lift his family in the Dominican Republic out of poverty.

Yet his journey is only getting started. His ultimate dream is to one day be the first one-armed player in the NBA.

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