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Teen basketball star shows off his incredible skills on the court despite only having one arm

One-armed teen basketball star is tipped for top flight success as coach says the disability ‘might be his greatest gift’

  • Hansel Emmanuel plays for AAU basketball team, SOH Elite in Dallas-Fort Worth
  • The 17-year-old is constantly wowing college recruiters and audiences with his skills on the court despite his arm being amputated when he was younger  
  • Hansel is considered a high level Division I basketball prospect with some scouts like Brandon Jenkins praising the teen for his work ethic
  • ‘It’s a testament to his work ethic and how good he is and special he is. I think there’s always room to grow and the skies the limit for a kid like him,’ Jenkins said

A teenage basketball star is reminding the world that life has no boundaries and no limits as he continues to wow college recruiters with his skills on the court despite his arm being amputated when he was younger.  

All eyes are on Hansel Emmanuel, 17, who plays for the AAU basketball team, SOH Elite in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Hansel, who is from the Dominican Republic, was forced to have his left arm amputated below the shoulder when he was a kid after a tragic accident. 

When Hansel was just six years old and living in Santo Domingo, a wall fell on him, leaving him trapped for two hours. 

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Hansel Emmanuel during a game

Hansel Emmanuel (left), 17, is reminding the world that life has no boundaries and no limits as he continues to wow top college prospects with his skills on the court despite having his arm amputated when he was a young boy

By the time rescue crews were able to get the wall off him, it was too late and his arm had to be amputated. 

But the basketball sensation hasn’t let that stop him, and his coach, Ricardo Catala, has explained how Hansel is able to use it to his advantage. 

Catala told CBS: ‘He’s been a sensation on social media. At first, people may’ve thought it was a gimmick and didn’t know if he could do it against top talent.

‘This might be one of his greatest gifts. Sometimes we don’t look at it as a blessing. We never know what he would’ve been if he had both limbs.’

Hansel is considered a high level Division I basketball prospect with some scouts like Brandon Jenkins praising the teen for his work ethic. 

‘It’s a testament to his work ethic and how good he is and special he is. I think there’s always room to grow and the skies the limit for a kid like him,’ Jenkins told CBS.  

Hansel Emmanuel

Ricardo Catala, Hansel's coach

Hansel’s coach, Ricardo Catala (right), said: ‘He’s been a sensation on social media’

Hansel is considered a high level Division I basketball prospect with some scouts like Brandon Jenkins praising the teen for his work ethic

Hansel is considered a high level Division I basketball prospect with some scouts like Brandon Jenkins praising the teen for his work ethic

Kellen Buffington, the organizer one of the biggest AAU tournaments the North Texas, said that he believe Hansel ‘is gonna find his way on to a Division I college basketball program’.

Hansel is one of several one-armed players who have gained traction on social media for their skills.   

For example, Robert Whitaker Jr, who lost his left arm as a result of an electric shock as a child, traveled the world working to become a professional basketball player.

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