SI Vault
 
He's Twice As Amazing
Steve Rushin
February 12, 2007
THE MOST exciting player in basketball is a 6'10" high school junior named Kevin Laue, which rhymes with wow, as in, "Wow, I can't believe he just did that." What he does is a little of everything. The one knock against him: no left hand. And it's true. Kevin was born with no arm below his left elbow.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 12, 2007

He's Twice As Amazing

View CoverRead All Articles

THE MOST exciting player in basketball is a 6'10" high school junior named Kevin Laue, which rhymes with wow, as in, "Wow, I can't believe he just did that." What he does is a little of everything. The one knock against him: no left hand. And it's true. Kevin was born with no arm below his left elbow.

Teammates call him Laue Ming. "His nickname should be Twice Amazing," says Rob Collins, Kevin's coach at Amador Valley High in Pleasanton, Calif., "because he's twice as amazing as anyone I've ever seen."

When Kevin was born, his umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck like a noose. "Just let him breathe," prayed his mother, Jodi, "and I'll accept anything else." In that instant, Kevin cried.

So Jodi and Wayne Laue accepted that their son might never cut his own meat or tie his own shoes or play anything but soccer. But Kevin didn't like soccer. When he complained that he couldn't pop a wheelie on his bike, Jodi bought him a prosthetic arm. But he never used it.

So the Laues went the other way, refusing to buy Velcro-fastened shoes, allowing Kevin to drop soccer for football and letting their hearts break a little when a fourth-grader taunted him as "One-Armed Jack."

Adults could be worse, always mindful to say, "You have beautiful red hair," before following up with, "What happened to your arm?"

"Tell them a shark bit it off," Jodi suggested, and Kevin has done just that ever since. "It's always the same story," he says. " Big Island, bull shark, 1995."

As an eight-year-old vacationing in Hawaii, Kevin thought it would be funny to stagger out of the surf with ketchup covering "the Nub," as he calls the arm. His parents said no, but his sense of humor remains disarming, sometimes literally so.

"Once he developed that," says Jodi, "everything changed."

In sixth grade Kevin announced that he wanted to play basketball, which Jodi says he had avoided because of the uniform. "He couldn't hide it like he could in football," she says.

Continue Story
1 2 3
Related Topics
  ARTICLES GALLERIES COVERS
Rob Collins 1 0 0
California 4412 0 4
Richmond 79 0 0
Nick Johansen 0 0 0
Kevin Laue 1 0 0