About 2 percent of high school athletes are awarded athletics scholarships to compete in college. Of these select few, even less are given the opportunity to play for a Division I school. To have a university seek out your services for one of their sports programs requires remarkable talent, maturity, and the promise to elevate their team to the elite level. When the average sports fan thinks of the type of athlete that receives a free ride to play sports in college, they typically have a freak of nature like LeBron James or Larry Fitzgerald in mind. You gotta be a physical specimen to get a Division I athletic scholarship right? One ballplayer is showing that looks may be deceiving and a strong work ethic goes a long way.
Standing 6 feet, 11 inches tall and tipping the scales at 232 pounds, Kevin Laue has the build of a dominant center. It is also hard to argue with the 10 point, 5 rebound per game average that he posted last season for Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. The stats are impressive enough for your average ballplayer, but Kevin Laue is far from average and his story is living proof that no obstacle is too difficult to overcome.
As you now can easily observe by his picture, Kevin has no left hand. When he was born, the circulation to Laue’s left arm was cut off by the umbilical cord, stunting its growth. Fortunately for Kevin, the rest of his body grew into the mold of a dominating big man who never used his disability as an excuse either on or off the court. He even developed his upper left arm to help catch passes and strengthen his all-around game. But despite all of his progress, Laue had not been offered any scholarships from D-I schools and was beginning to question if he would ever make it to the next level.
On Monday, Kevin’s prayers were answered as his efforts finally paid off when he accepted a scholarship to suit up for the D-I Manhattan Jaspers next season. Manhattan Coach Barry Rohrssen had the presence of mind to take a chance on Laue, noting that many programs “take chances on kids who have poor academic histories [and] who have disciplinary problems both on the court and off the court,” and Kevin deserves his shot “for all the right reasons.”
I for one will be keeping a close eye on Laue’s college career as it serves as an inspiration to anyone who ever rooted for the underdog. Kevin’s attitude is refreshingly optimistic; after all you don’t need two hands to block a shot. In today’s world where it’s often hard to find feel good stories, Kevin offers hope that you can reach your goals no matter how difficult the circumstances are.