In mid-August 6-foot-2 shooting guard Zach Hodskins, who had already begun to receive attention from schools at the mid-major level, saw his hard work pay off in the form of an offer to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Florida. A birth defect resulted in Hodskins being born with a left arm that ended just below the elbow, but that hasn’t prevented the Milton, Ga. native from being a productive player at the high school level.
On Saturday, after taking a visit to Florida, Hodskins announced via his Twitter account that he’s committed to the SEC school.
As a preferred walk-on Hodskins wouldn’t have to try out for the team as most walk-ons do; he’ll have a guaranteed spot on Billy Donovan’s roster. His presence can also serve as motivation for other youngsters dealing with disabilities, as Hodskins can be used as an example of what can happen when one works hard and remains determined.
The last one-armed player in college basketball was 6-foot-11 center Kevin Laue, who played three seasons at Manhattan. Laue’s idol growing up was Jim Abbott, who pitched for ten seasons in the major leagues for four different franchises.
While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.
Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.
Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.
Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.
“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”
Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.
Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.