With One Hand

June 12, 2009
I am often motivated in life by people who have every reason to give up, but don’t.  In sports, I am motivated by athletes like Kevin Laue.  Laue is a 6’10 center who will begin his freshman year at Division I Manhattan College this fall.  He averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds a game last season at Fork Union Military Academy.  So, what?  He sounds like an average center going to play for a mid-major program.  He may be average, but Kevin Laue had to do extraordinary things to get there.
Kevin Laue was born without a left hand.  Doctors say the umbilical cord was wrapped around his head.  The infant somehow wedged his left hand between the cord and his neck; saving his own life.  His left hand could not be saved due to lack of circulation.  Laue persevered and like many tall kids became interested in basketball.  He learned to play the game very well with one hand and his future looked bright.  However, he broke his leg his senior year of high school and missed most of the season.  Laue decided to enroll at Fork Union Military Academy in what he calls “fifth-year high school” to hone his basketball skills against top Division I recruits. 
Manhattan College was impressed with Laue’s performance at Fork Union and offered him a full scholarship.  The story could end here, but all you would have is another against the odds story.  The sportsmanship lesson actually comes from Laue’s new coach, Manhattan College’s, Barry Rohrssen.  While Kevin Laue’s story motivates me, his coach inspires me.  I think he will inspire you too.  Here’s what he had to say when asked why he took a chance on Kevin Laue:
“We take chances on kids who have poor academic histories, who have disciplinary problems on and off the court.  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 should make the most of this opportunity.”  Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!
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