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Disabled basketball players aim to inspire

2015-June-15       Source: Szdaily.com

Kevin Laue and Zach Hodskins, both missing their left forearms, are models of people who can face cruel realities and still chase their dreams.

A documentary called “Long Shot” was made about Laue’s story. Besides playing basketball, Laue is now a motivation speaker. He sees his specialty as a gift to inspire others. With his 10-day trip to Shenzhen, Laue hopes to encourage more children to pursue their dreams.

“It is my first trip to China and my intention of this trip is to inspire these kids to aim high in their lives, and they need to believe in themselves for what they can achieve,” said Laue at a press conference last week.

Like Laue, Hodskins, 19, is also a basketball player without a left forearm. He was inspired by Laue and trained hard to play in the NCAA. Hodskins studies at the University of Florida. He said China is his first destination outside of the U.S.

Sommerfeldt, 26, is an ambitious basketball player who once had a promising career in the sport, but has had to undergo six knee surgeries. He did not give up his dream of being a professional athlete and trained even harder to get back onto the court.

“Each of the six surgeries has reduced some of my athletic abilities and it is very hard to overcome the pain,” said Sommerfeldt. “I still struggle sometimes, but I am also trying hard to overcome this.”

The life education classes are being organized by a local cultural exchange company. The president of the company, Qiu Xiaorong, said she invited these encouraging people to speak with children and show them how to chase after their dreams.

“I strongly believe that showing is more convincing than telling and that’s why I invited these three young men from the U.S. and Norway. I think they are the best examples to show courage and the power of persistence,” said Qiu.

The three players will stay in Shenzhen until Wednesday and visit other schools during the rest of their trip.

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