Hansel Emmanuel ‘s incredible journey has taken him from commercials to the ESPYS to a Division I scholarship. Here’s what he had to say on the red carpet.
What a year it’s been for Hansel Emmanuel. The 6-foot-4, one-armed combo guard from Kissimmee, Florida was walking the ESPYs red carpet last week in Hollywood after being nominated for play of the year for his steal and windmill dunk during his senior season at Life Christian Academy. He then starred in a Gatorade commercial as part of its Fuel Tomorrow campaign, went to the ESPYs, and then committed to Division I Northwestern State on a full scholarship.
Wearing a snazzy outfit including a chain he got from Miami that featured a picture of his grandmother, Emmanuel spoke with Boardroom and reflected on an incredible year.
You’ve received a lot of attention in recent months. What’s that been like for you?
That’s been amazing. I gotta thank God first for giving me this, all the opportunities. I’m happy for that, my mom, my family, everything. I’m excited for that.
We all saw the Gatorade commercial you were in. I see you smiling just at the mention of it.
That’s a good opportunity and I always have to thank God because he does everything for me.
What advice do you have for people who have a disability and don’t think they can thrive in this world?
Keep going. Never give up. Keep working and staying focused. Don’t listen to anybody [trying to bring you down] and go hard.
Favorite athlete to watch in a different sport:
With KD probably being a guy you look up to, how many points do you think you could score on him in a 1 on 1 in a game to 11?
Let’s see. I don’t know. [I’m not scared of] anybody, but who knows?
What would you do with your first big check?
Buy my mom a house, buy my grandma a house too. Everything for my family. They gave me everything. They sacrificed for me.