Hansel Emmanuel Donato Dominguez was born in the Los Mina neighborhood of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where more than 60% of the population (roughly 105K citizens) lives in poverty. He fell in love with the glorious game of basketball at an early age after seeing his father – Salvador Donato – perform mightily for the Dominican Republic national team.
Every time you saw Salvador at the courts, Hansel would be there. Except for the one time when Hansel went to the courts without his father. Hansel and his childhood friends were playing around as youngsters do.
Hansel began to climb a cinder block wall that collapsed upon him and left him under rubble from the chest down. This tragic incident rendered the majority of his left arm tendons unsalvageable. The only way to carry on was to amputate the vital limb.
This accident shook the family to their core. The amazing part about tragedy is that it leads to triumph. The Lord certainly had a greater plan and purpose for this young man and faulty infrastructure did not stop Hansel from achieving his hoop dreams. Matter of fact, it may have made him work even harder.
Defying the odds and going throughout life with a constant chip on your shoulder and desire to be the best separates the good from the great. In an era where mediocrity may play a role, Hansel accepted no substitutes on the court. He trained, grew and flourished within his Los Mina neighborhood.
Island Hoops Project and Full Court Peace initiatives brought radiance and function to a once dilapidated basketball court in Los Mina. They provided extra grip surfaces, new lights, new hoops and repaired the bleachers. Puma donated $5,000 and 300 sneakers which brought their fundraising total to $10,000 for this basketball renovation.
A man who used to play alongside Salvador Donato named Moises Micael began to take notice once Hansel’s videos began to go viral. Moises wanted to put this talented individual in a position to succeed. He extended an offer to Hansel that gave him the ability to play basketball for Life Christian Academy (LCA) in Kissimmee, FL.
During practices, it was clear that Hansel would not spoil this opportunity to grow as a hoopstar. If you missed your lay-up at the end of practice 20 pushups were required. Hansel missed his and completed every last pushup with one arm. This moment really put things in perspective for the team, allowed them to bond and pushed each and every individual in the gym that day to new heights.
Donato Dominguez went on to average 26 points 11 rebounds and 7 assists for LCA. After continuous improvement that proved his abilities, this man began to receive from glances from D1 scouts.
According to several scouts, his game translates well on the next level. His ability to see over defenses as a 6”5 point guard who plays aggressive defense, drives and dishes makes him an intriguing prospect. So far, Hansel has received one scholarship offer from Coach Brian “Penny” Collins at HBCU Tennessee State University. We have a feeling this won’t be his last offer, either.
Sports and Music are two of the most influential art forms. It is downright earth-shattering the way that humans defy the odds of gravity and nature within these mediums. Fresh News Now exists to scope out every story, angle and ounce of guts, glory, blood, sweat and tears. Tune in!