— Aashif Tyrome Dhakir (@SwahiliSamurai) November 15, 2014
Zach Hodskins, one of four true freshmen on Florida’s 2014-2015 men’s basketball roster, enrolled at UF for the Summer B term like many other first-year students.
But Hodskins is unlike many others.
The preferred walk-on from Alpharetta, Georgia, was born without the lower half of his left arm.
But that didn’t stop Hodskins from averaging 11.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game during his senior year at Milton High School.
Toward the end of the year, Hodskins, a 6-foot- 4, 203-pound shooting guard who committed to Florida in October 2013, was averaging nearly 23 points per game.
The business major said he has yet to return to Georgia since arriving at UF’s campus this past summer.
He added that he’s been able to adjust well to his new life and role on and off the court.
1. How have you been adjusting to the UF basketball program?
“It was a pretty big adjustment at first. The guys here are really athletic, really fast game speed but I’ve adjusted really well.”
2. How important is it for you to be considered as just another guy on the team?
“Very important. I work just as hard as anybody else. I just want to be recognized as a player first and that’s what they see me as here and I think I’ve proven that to a lot of people. They’ve always treated me like a player. There never was a moment where they didn’t. Just wanted to make sure everybody knew that I’m going to come in and work just as hard as anybody else and I want to be recognized for that.”
3. Was there a specific moment in your high school career that made you believe you could play college basketball?
“It’s just always been in my mind, since I was little. I never thought I couldn’t do something. I’ve always just set my mind to it and went for it and that’s kind of what happened. There was never really a deciding factor, it was just my whole life.”
4. There was a lot of attention paid to you by the media when you committed to Florida last October, how was that for you?
“I did like the attention, I mean, who wouldn’t? It was a great experience. I never thought anything would ever happen like that. I loved every minute of it. The media attention allowed to get it (his story) on TV and reach out to other kids that had disabilities and they could see me, that was the best thing about it, I think.”
5. What’s your favorite movie?
“Chasing Mavericks would be my favorite movie. It’s very inspirational and I love surfing, I used to surf when I was a little kid growing up on Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) for eight years.”