Most basketball stars inspire by transcending what we think is traditionally possible, hitting shots that don’t seem open and finding teammates on the other end of the court that had previously seemed hidden. That’s not the case for 18-year-old Kevin Laue, which is not to say that he doesn’t do many of those things, too. Laue’s skills on the court are overshadowed by a much more basic truth: He’s playing top-level competitive basketball with one arm.
Laue is a 6-foot-1o prospect from California who arrived at Virginia’s Fork Union Military Academy with the hopes of attracting an Ivy League suitor. He is, essentially, Jim Abbott playing a sport where he doesn’t have the luxury of time to anticipate reactionary movements. He’s smart, he’s immensely talented and he can hold his own on one of the most difficult prep basketball circuits in the country.
“It was a science to watch him play,” Laue’s former coach at Amador Valley (Calif.) Rob Collins said. “With Kevin, you had to have vision, bro. And how could I even care if he messed up? He’s only got one hand. He’s just an amazing dude that everyone should meet once.”
Laue is missing his left arm, but he has a quarter-length stump which he uses to grip passes. He relies on an enormous paw of a right hand to block shots and palm the ball after rebounds, a skill he’s perfected in the paint; he’s averaging 6.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game at Fork Union.
Still, it’s what coaches and teammates say about his skills that’s most impressive: Some say they almost forget that he’s missing an arm, which is understandable when you see him on film (which we have after the jump).