Despite the doubts of many – inside and outside the country – the moment is approaching when Hansel Enmanuel (2004) becomes the first basketball player to see action at the NCAA college basketball level with only one arm. .
But in addition to him, with his talent, dedication and effort, there is an anonymous hero who has accompanied him in every step he has taken and who has served as a point of support at all times: his father Hansel Salvador (Kikima).
“The process has been difficult. When the accident happened, he wanted him to be a baseball player to follow Jim Abbot (one-handed pitcher in the Major Leagues), but he said no, that he wanted to play basketball just like me and that I was his idol,” recalls Salvador, two times MVP of the superior district tournament.
It was when he was six years old when, sharing with friends on a visit to his grandmother, when climbing a wall under construction it collapsed, leaving him trapped for more than two hours and as a result he suffered the amputation of most of his left arm.
“I knew it was more difficult, but I never wanted to kill his hope and I decided to support him, be by his side, guide him and guide him on the right path so that he would not make the mistakes I made in the past,” adds the father.
However, Kikima’s determination was for his son to leave the country since he knew that things would be easier if he could expose his talent and expertise in markets larger than the Dominican Republic.
“I noticed when he went from 14 to 15 years old, he starts to improve his skills. Then in the middle of the pandemic everything closes, but we had a field nearby and we attended every day. When I stayed in bed he would go away alone and he would surprise me with the things he could do”, adds Salvador.
That is when he intensifies his efforts to take him to the United States and contacts Moisés Michel, his friend and former colleague, who is making arrangements for a scholarship at Life Christian Academy in Kissimmee, Florida where he works as a coach. The success was immediate and the videos of him on social networks became viral and his followers on Instagram multiplied.
“If you give my son a chance, he will surprise the world”, were the prophetic words that Salvador addressed to Michel whom he convinced. He averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while helping his team win its division title.
His impact on the field has been reflected in the interest of brands that seek to be associated with his figure, such as the cases of Gatorade and Banco de Reservas. He was recently nominated for the Espys Awards in the category of “Best Play” for a sequence of steals and dunks last season.
In addition, a few days ago he announced his admission to Northwestern State University after receiving interest from Tennessee State, Memphis and Bethune-Cookman.
“You value this to the fullest. All this that thank God is happening with him. He lives with me since he came to the United States, the effort has been made to stay together. We have never come unstuck,” Kikima said.
At first, after the accident, he thought that his future was in baseball to be a kind of Dominican Jim Abbot.
Salvador was always clear that he had to get him out of the country so that his opportunities could be expanded, and this has been the case.
Carlos Morales, Héctor Lapaix, Oscar Guillén, Renzo Germán, among others have helped him in the country in his athletic training.