Eleven years ago, Hansel Emmanuel Donato Domínguez was trapped under rubble for nearly two hours after a wall collapsed on him. Eventually, his father, a former professional basketball player, came to his rescue. The harrowing ordeal might’ve cost Donato Dominguez his left arm, but it only strengthened his desire to pursue his first love: basketball.
Fast forward to 2021 and the 17-year-old is an internet sensation who puts jaws on the floor with a dazzling array of moves that include nasty windmill jams, a mean handle, and a stepback jumper that would impress even NBA superstar James Harden.
And as he continues to break down both barriers and ankles, HBCU Gameday reports that the six-foot-five phenom has just received his first D1 scholarship offer from HBCU Tennessee State University. Donato Domínguez broke the news on Instagram to his more than 600,000 followers.
“Blessed to receive my first D1 offer from Tennessee State University,” he wrote. “Thank you for believing in my talents.”
Donato Domínguez, who hails from the Dominican Republic, moved to the United States in 2020 and played for Life Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Fla. Yet despite casually embarrassing some of the best high school talent in the country during AAU tournaments—while playing with only one arm!—he never received a single scholarship offer until Tennessee State came knocking.
“My life fell apart when Hansel’s accident happened,” his 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.”
Donato Domínguez is equally grateful to God and accepts what many would consider a curse as a blessing.
“God always has a purpose,” he 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].“
I can’t wait to see his unique talent on a bigger stage, and after also recently recruiting Master P’s son, Hercy Miller, it looks like Tennessee State is laying the foundation for a basketball powerhouse.