- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Zach Hodskins, a 17-year-old shooting guard who is missing most of his left arm, is taking his talents to the Florida Gators.

Zach, who plays at Milton High School in Georgia, verbally committed to the prestigious program over the weekend. He had been recruited by the school since last summer after being spotted by an assistant coach who was scouting another player.

“It’s always been my dream growing up,” the teen told the Gant Daily newspaper. “I never expected it to be like this, but the hard work has paid off. I’m ecstatic I’m going to be a Florida Gator.”

After averaging 11 points per game in the 2012-13 season, he’ll have a “preferred” walk-on slot on Billy Donovan’s team, meaning he’ll make the roster, but will not receive a full scholarship, Fox News reported.

“I love to see people watch me for the first time, with the shock on their face,” the teen said.

Zach, who was born without the lower half of his arm, said he hopes to be an inspiration for other kids with physical disabilities.

“I kind of understood my path in life,” he told ESPN. “You know, God wanted me to do this and I fell in love with basketball and I just took it all the way. I never gave up and that’s how I reach out to kids.”