City of Palms Classic slam dunk champion goes viral

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Hansel Enmanuel

A slam dunk champion lights up the internet and even makes it to SportsCenter.

Hansel Emmanuel, the kid who made the awarding-winning shot at the City of Palms Classic. He’s a 6’6″ top Division I basketball prospect, and he’s an amputee.

After his viral performance, WINK News reporter Andrea Guerrero sat down with Enmanuel to hear his inspirational story.

Before the City of Palms Classic Dunk Contest, the chances are high that you’ve never heard of Hansel Emmanuel. But now, he’s known around the world and across the web for what he can do with a basketball. All this despite having one arm.

Enmanuel says he plans to make it as far as God allows him. “I put no limits on myself, and anything you say I can’t do…I’ll do it three times better,” he said.

John Vittas is a play-by-play announcer. “It was just one of those head-turning moments when he first took the court where you realize how special he was,” Vittas said.

Former NBA All-Star Ron Harper saw Enmanuel’s video and has nothing but praise for him. So did the fans in the stands.

Charlie Devone was watching the contest. “Doing that with one arm is pretty awesome,” said Devone.

The 17-year-old amputee lost his arm back when he was in elementary school in the Dominican Republic. But, he refused to let that stop him from playing that game he loves.

“It’s hard to have something like that happen as a kid. It’s hard to recover, and it’s frustrating. But God and the dream to be like my dad inspired me,” said Enmanuel.

“I said it on the air. He has eliminated a disability. Which obviously, is hard to do,” Vittas said.

Enmanuel went from living in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic to trending on social media. Enmanual hopes others see his determination and love and believe that they can do anything. They can do anything no matter what.

Two Division I schools have already offered Enmanuel scholarships.

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