Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Give the Boy a Big Hand

The February 12 issue of Sports Illustrated carries a profile by Steve Rushin of high school junior basketball player Kevin Laue. The Amador Valley High, California, player was born with no arm below his left elbow after his umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. Then, at age ten, Laue lost his father to melanoma and became the youngest child in a new family with five siblings when his mother remarried.

"It seems a little unfair" Kevin says, "but I'm happy with what God gave me."

God is still giving, to judge by the boy's growth plate. By seventh grade, when Kevin was cut from the school team and turned to AAU ball, his feet were growing two sizes a year. (He now wears a size 17.) In eighth grade he was palming the ball and, dunking. His oversized right hand, which looks as big as a novelty foam finger, is known around town as the Mitt. With it he catches passes, makes steals and gathers rebounds. "It's like a lacrosse stick," says teammate Nick Johansen.
. . .

In one jayvee game last year Kevin had 20 blocks. In another he intercepted a pass, dribbled the length of the floor and dunked. He scored the winning basket with less than a second left against archrival Foothill High. "A lot of people think it would be unfair if he had two arms" says Johansen.

This year, as a varsity starter, Kevin blocked the first five shots in a game against Livermore. He leads the strong East Bay Athletic League with seven rejections a game. No one escapes the Long Arm of the Laue.
A heartwarming story, but with an appalling punchline.

There's only one thing you can do for Kevin Laue that he can't do for himself: applaud.


Lorcy said...

I feel sorry for this guy, not because he's only got one hand but because when he's having a nightime tamper with himself his gigantic mitt will make his wee lad seem even smaller, or does he have his gigantism in all parts?

John said...

Sports Illustrated didn't specify, but with a bit of luck he'll be in the 3-D swimsuit issue.