Hansel Emmanuel Donato Domínguez, one-armed basketball player, earns Division I offer from Tennessee State


At age six, Hansel Emmanuel Donato Domínguez had his left arm amputated after a wall collapsed on it. He was trapped beneath the rubble for nearly two hours until his father, a former professional basketball player, rescued him. 

Now, 11 years later, Donato Domínguez is miraculously following his father’s athletic footsteps. The 6-5 hooper from the Dominican Republic earned his first NCAA Division I scholarship offer from Tennessee State, an HBCU, on Thursday. 

“Blessed to receive my first D1 offer from Tennessee State university,” Donato Domínguez, 17, announced to his 596,000 Instagram followers on Thursday. “Thank you for believing in my talents.” 

Tennessee State could potentially be getting a scintillating talent.

Despite having only one arm, Donato Domínguez can dunk over defenders, cross them out of their shoes or splash pull-up three-pointers in their face with ease. 

Donato Domínguez moved to the United States in late 2020 to play basketball at Life Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Fla. It was the continuation of a journey Hansel Salvador Donato, Emmanuel’s father, will never forget. 

“My life fell apart when Hansel’s accident happened,” the father told the Orlando Sentinel. “I was the one with him and when they had to amputate his arm, I felt like it was all over. But God grabbed us and led us down this path. You remember everything [from the accident] because a blow like this is not forgotten, so quickly regardless of all that he is achieving, thanks to God.” 

Faith is integral to the Domínguez family, so much so that Donato Domínguez reportedly asked for No. 7 at Life Christian to give God credit for his skills. The Academy eventually gave Donato Domínguez No. 4, but that didn’t stop him from sharing the message — just like the loss of his arm didn’t stop his athletic dreams. 

“God always has a purpose,” Donato Domínguez told the Orlando Sentinel. “I am living His mission, what He wants me to do in this life. Everything I do, I do it with God first and for my family, they are everything [to me].” 

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