17-year-old Hansel Emmanuel Donato Domingez may not have a left arm, but the Dominican Republic-born athlete isn’t letting that get in the way of playing the game he loves and equally squaring off against his abled opponents on the basketball court.
And the talented basketball prospect has been doing that in style – looking at the large following he has amassed for himself on social media. Domingez’s hard work on the court is also paying off as he recently received his first NCAA Division I basketball scholarship offer from Tennessee State University. The offer from the HBCU came on August 12, CBS Sports reported.
The 17-year-old athlete took to Instagram on August 13 to share the news with his over 600 thousand followers. “Blessed to receive my first D1 offer from Tennessee State university,” Domingez posted. “Thank you for believing in my talents.”
Domingez was just six years old when his left arm was amputated after a wall collapsed and fell on it. The unfortunate incident happened back home in the Dominican Republic. His father, who played professional basketball, found him trapped under the rubble after almost two hours and rescued him. Losing an arm, however, could not get in the way of Domingez following in the footsteps of his father.
“My life fell apart when Hansel’s accident happened,” Domingez’s father told the Orlando Sentinel in an interview. “I was the one with him and when they had to amputate his arm, I felt like it was all over. But God grabbed us and led us down this path. You remember everything [from the accident] because a blow like this is not forgotten, so quickly regardless of all that he is achieving, thanks to God.”
Currently standing at 6-foot-5, Domingez reportedly has all the qualities of a promising basketball star even though he has just an arm. Besides being great on the ball, the one-armed athlete can also dunk and shoot well from both within and outside the three-point arch.
Domingez left the Dominican Republic for the United States last year after he received a scholarship from the Life Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Florida, where he currently plays basketball. And though he’s not yet conversant with English, he credited some of his teammates for helping him get by.
“My thing is to play basketball. I am not fluent in English and that makes it difficult for me to communicate with my teammates, but many of them help me and, well, we understand each other between shots to the basket,” Domingez said.
Responding to the D1 scholarship offer in an interview with The Tennessean on Tuesday, Domingez expressed his gratitude to Tennessee State coach Brian “Penny” Collins. He also said he plans on visiting the HBCU once the 2021-22 basketball season ends.
“I like Coach Collins; he is a good man,” Domingez said. “I appreciate his offer.”