Zach Hodskins, a freshman walk-on to the University of Florida's basketball team, might have been brought into the season opener Friday with only two minutes remaining, but he got the loudest applause from the crowd.
Hodskins, a guard who stands well over 6 feet tall, was born with only one full arm.
Though he missed his only shot during the game, which the Gators won 68-45 against the College of William & Mary, he said he'll do better next time.
Florida guard Zach Hodskins (24) tries for the basket but is hampered by William & Mary forward Jack Whitman (41) during the second half of NCAA College basketball in Gainesville, Fla., Friday, Nov., 14, 2014. Florida defeated William & Mary 68-45. (AP/Phil Sandlin)
"It's surreal," Hodskins told Florida Today. "I've always dreamed of being here, and tonight I feel like I fulfilled that dream and now I'm just going to take that next step forward. It's kind of like the first time I did public speaking. I was a little bit nervous, but after I did it once, I was fine. I think I'm going to be fine if I get in another game."
Zach Hodskins (24) is interviewed by the media at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, Wednesday, Oct., 15, 2014 during Media Day. Zach was born without the lower half of his left arm but always dreamed of playing basketball and got his chance to see a dream come true when he enrolled at Florida. (AP/Phil Sandlin)
Watch Hodskins' first play:
Hodskins told the Florida Independent Alligator that the biggest adjustment to college play compared to high school ball is the speed. He also said he's thankful for how his teammates treat him.
“I love it, I mean as long as they treat me like a normal human being and a player and their friend I’ll be just fine,” Hodskins said.
Hodskins story first went viral with a video that showed off his skills a couple of years ago:
(H/T: USA Today)