One Arm Never Stopped Him

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 4, 2009

CALIFORNIA(BASN) — This story is one that most sports fans love and want to hear. Day after day, and week after week, we read and hear of negative stories about football, baseball, and basketball players.

This is not one of them. Kevin Laue was born with a severely damaged left arm and hand. The umbilical cord was rapped around his head twice and also his left arm and hand.

If the cord had not been wrapped around the arm and hand he would not have survived. The lack of circulation in the arm and hand caused the doctors to remove part of the arm and the hand.

Laue experienced life like any other child has proceeded in life, only with a minor challenge. When he was a child he wanted to play professional basketball, that was his dream. His parents encouraged him at every step.

They never doubted their son’s ability to play this very fast and sometimes physical game. It helped a lot when Laue grew to be over 6-feet-11 inches tall. Also Laue never thought about his having half an arm as a disability.

Most Division One schools had other thoughts. Breaking his leg in his senior year made it even more difficult for universities and colleges to consider him as a major part of their basketball programs.

These Division One schools never watched Kevin play center in high school. Therefore they never knew the spirit or determination of this young man. In sports that is 25 % of playing any game.

Laue led the League in blocked shots for Amador-ValleyHigh School in Pleasanton. Many Disabled Americans follow this young man’s amazing basketball feats.

In spite of his successes at Amador-ValleyHigh School many major college basketball programs were still not impressed. Laue graduated with a 3.5 Grade point average, so academics was not in question.

He can run, pass, and play defense like any able-bodied player on the court. Yet many university basketball programs shied away from this young man. He was a mainstay player his high school junior year and many begin to take notice of how he had the abilities to block shots from anywhere on the court.

When the universities and colleges did not call him, Kevin decided to attend FortUnionMilitaryAcademy in Virginia for a year of seasoning on the court and in the classroom. Then the break came with Manhattan granted him a scholarship to play in New York City.

But first things first, he has three years left to play for the Manhattan College Jaspers. This is a thrill of a lifetime for this young man. He now has future aspirations of playing against Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, now that is determination.

Like most young adults, Laue had an idol who was pitcher Jim Abbott, another disabled athlete who never quit. The one-armed baseball player played with the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Milwaukee Brewers from 1989 to 1999.

Kevin knew that many coaches would be intimidated by him and probably would not know what to do with this talented disabled player. He will now face the same questioning about his basketball abilities just as Abbott faced 25 years earlier.

He also has a sense of humor and wants to go one on one with President Barack Obama anytime, anywhere. Be careful Mr. President – this young athlete might show you up on the courts.

Good luck, Mr. Laue.