Hansel Enmanuel Donato, A High School Basketball Star with One-Arm Continues to Inspire

Hansel Enmanuel Donato

It is undeniable that a sport like basketball can sometimes offer a story that is so riveting that taking your gaze away from it could be far from possible.

Hansel Enmanuel Donato, an 18-year-old wonder, is an example of this as he gained the limelight through his basketball prowess.

Donato only has one arm, yet he is the center of attention for the thousands of spectators who have seen him play this season because of his exceptional skillset.

He slams dunks, blocks shots at the rim, and dribbles around and past defenders with swag and cool.

When he was 6 years old and living in the Dominican Republic, a wall collapsed on him, causing him to lose his left arm. But, this didn’t stop him from playing the sport he truly loves.

His performance caught the interest of ESPN and Sports Illustrated, among others, and he is receiving Division I invitations to play at the next level.

Martin County traveled to the Wally Keller Classic at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, where the Tigers faced Donato and Life Christian Academy of Kissimmee, both of whom are standing 6-foot-6.

All season, Donato faced some of the best teams in Florida and the country, and with Martin County being a Top 20 program in the state, many got stoked with how Donato will be able to pull away. 

The Tigers saw what Donato was all about as he did a crosscourt pass, ran downcourt, and took flight for one of his famous dunks.

Because of Donato’s exceptional skill set, Martin County head coach John Leon said it was difficult to prepare for him.

He is a formidable opponent due to his long, slender physique and reach with his right arm. His one-handed ball handling talents seem natural, and he has no qualms about doing things that appear impossible.

His court vision is as well over the top, and his lightning-fast passes occasionally catch his teammates off guard.

The grit with which Donato played on the court may have been the most remarkable. He possesses the competitive spirit that so many great athletes before him also possessed.

Martin County’s team won with a final score of 59-44.

Donato, unfazed by the defeat, still continued to don his smile as fans raced to meet him and take selfies with him after the game. 

Donato has already established himself as a terrific role model, being an inspiration to many that disabilities would never define you and your path. 

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