Florida walk-on Zach Hodskins, born without hand, makes 1st basket

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Florida walk-on Zach Hodskins, who was born without a hand on his left arm, made his first basket in two years and received one of the loudest ovations of the night during theGators' 89-65 victory over Jacksonville on Tuesday night.

Hodskins drove to the hoop in the final minute and sank the bucket despite getting fouled. He missed the free throw -- but coaches, teammates and the crowd didn't care.

"Really happy for Zach, a great young man, obviously overcoming an unbelievable adversity," coach Mike White said. "He's a very, very likable young man. You could tell by the decibel level in the O'Dome when he scored. It was a fun moment for our team and for Zach. Proud for him, happy for him."

Hodskins was 0-for-2 shooting as a freshman last season and missed his first three shots this season.

"I was excited for him," teammate Dorian Finney-Smith said. "I was here last year, and he never scored. I'm just happy he got it. He can shoot it, so I'm just happy he got that evil man hanging on the rim and knocking his balls out."

The 6-foot-4 Hodskins, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, signed with then-coach Billy Donovan and committed to the Gators as a preferred walk-on before the 2013-14 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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