Former hoops player tells kids 'you matter'
Kevin Laue is probably the only motivational speaker working today who begins his presentation with the sentence, “Wave to the nub!”
At nearly seven feet tall with bright red hair and size 17 shoes, Laue is bound to attract attention anyway, and that only intensifies when people notice that he’s missing most of his left arm. He spoke at New Hampton High School and again at New Hampton Middle School on Monday morning, delivering a message about overcoming adversity and achieving success through determination. Laue made a connection with the young people by relating his touching personal narrative using striking humor and an engaging, youthful vernacular.
“You matter,” he told the audience, often encouraging the students to participate. “You all have a nub like mine — you all have something to overcome.”
Laue was the first player missing a limb to play NCAA Division I basketball. He overcame the early death of his father, a challenging home environment and a legion of critics to become one of the top high school basketball players in his home state of California while earning a scholarship at Manhattan College, where he played from 2009-13..
His 2013 Oscar-nominated documentary movie. “Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story” will be available on Netflix soon. During the presentation Monday, Laue hinted that a feature film adaptation was in the works, and also hinted that a short-term stint with the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA might be happening this season.
Now 27 years old, Laue has turned down an opportunity to play with the Harlem Globetrotters so that he could instead spread his message. He has been to six of the seven continents and 49 of the 50 states. He uses his own inspirational journey to examine the challenges faced by others every day, and encourages people to look at those challenges in a new light.
For more of this article, see Friday's New Hampton Tribune.