One-handed player accepts Gators' offer

Zach Hodskins, a player born with his left arm rounded off at the elbow, accepted a preferred walk-on spot for Florida's 2014-15 roster. (Submitted photo)

Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 8:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 8:50 p.m.

The feel-good story of one-handed Georgia high school basketball player Zach Hodskins keeps getting better.

Last August, Florida offered Hodskins a preferred walk-on spot after an outstanding summer on the AAU circuit. Hodskins accepted the walk-on offer after touring the UF campus over the weekend.

As a preferred walk-on, Hodskins won't have to try out to make the 2014-15 Florida roster. A 6-foot-4, 200-pound guard, Hodskins was born with his left arm rounded off at the elbow.

"He's certainly adapted to where he can do the same things anyone else can do on the court, if not better," Hodskins' former coach at Milton High School, Van Keys, said last August. "He's a tough, hard-nosed kid. A deep shooter. One game, he hit seven 3-pointers in a row for us.”

It's been a heady 48 hours for Hodskins. Since his announcement, Hodskins has been interviewed by SportsCenter, had a highlight video re-tweeted by NBA legend Michael Jordan and received an inspirational message from entertainer Beyonce.

"I never expected it to be like this, but the hard work has paid off,” Hodskins told ESPN. “I'm ecstatic I'm going to be a Florida Gator."

Hill gets preseason honor

Florida freshman point guard Kasey Hill was one of 45 players named to the preseason watch list for the Cousy Award, given to college basketball's top point guard in the country.

A McDonald's All-American, the 6-foot-1 Hill was a consensus top-15 national recruit. He's expected to contribute right away for the Gators with incumbent starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin suspended to start the 2013-14. Donovan hasn't ruled out playing Hill and Wilbekin together in the backcourt this season.

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