Basketball Player with One Hand Excels in NCAA Division I Basketball
- Published on Sunday, 30 October 2011 22:33
Kevin Lau's dreams of playing basketball were often discouraged when he was growing up, he was instead pushed to play sports that catered more to his disability. When Kevin was born his umbilical cord had cut off circulation to his left arm. As a result, his left arm ends with a mass of scar tissue just below the elbow. Despite his limitations, Kevin refused to give up his dream.
Kevin is 6'10" and 230 lbs. His hand is large which makes it easy for him to palm the ball. He uses his upper arm to help him receive passes and steady the ball for a shot.
In high-school he played for Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. His coach Fletcher Arritt said Kevin averaged about 10 points and five rebounds during the season. "He can run as well as anybody, he can jump as well as anybody. You don't need two hands to block shots around the basket."
He was offered some scholarships from Division II teams, but his desire was to play at the highest level. He played in a Post-graduation game in order to showcase his talent to recruiters, with the hopes of receiving a scholarship to play with a NCAA Division I team. Initially, some recruiters showed interest but had no scholarships available.
Barry Rohrssen of Manhattan College was looking for someone with some height, since the graduation of his former center. Kevin was his choice. "We take chances on kids who have poor academic histories, who have disciplinary problems both on the court and off the court," Rohrssen said. "We give opportunities to players who don't appreciate them, who take them for granted. For all the right reasons, Kevin deserves this chance, and he should make the most of this opportunity." Kevin Laue became the first and only NCAA Division I basketball player with one hand.
Kevin's father died of a cancerous brain tumor when he was 10. "It's a difficult subject now, but I would have loved to have my father here to see me play -- just one game, any game -- so he could see what I've done,'' Laue said. "All I can do now is hope that he would be proud of me, and what I've become."
Kevin is a gifted athlete who has not allowed his disability to stop him. Through his perseverance and determination he has reached new heights. He is an inspiration for many facing life with a disability.
"I'm a risk. Coach Rohrssen was willing to take it," Kevin said. "He has no reason to worry."