Kevin Laue began fighting for his life before he was even born. With his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck in the womb, Kevin fought back using his arm as a shield. Due to a lack of circulation from the cord, he was born with an arm that ended just below the elbow. His disability is a testament to his toughness and refusal to quit: "It was either my arm or my head," Kevin often jokes.
Kevin's father, a former athlete and demanding youth coach for his son's teams, had great difficulty accepting Kevin's disability; struggling to cope with having a son who would never have a normal life. Four years later, his father died of cancer and Kevin became determined to carry on his family's name and make his father proud by proving that he could be a success—not only in life, but in basketball.
By the time Kevin reached the seventh grade, he was 6' 9"; but still unable to make any of the local teams in upscale Pleasanton, California. Distraught by the treatment of her son by the local community, Kevin's mother crossed the tracks to beg the rival high school coach for help.
Only after Coach McKnight agreed to allow Kevin a tryout did she mention that Kevin only had one arm. After a long day, Coach McKnight knew there was something special in Kevin. He felt he could help Kevin make the varsity team. This began a five-year love affair between a black, cross-town rival coach and a white, preppy one-armed basketball player. McKnight drove Kevin in a way no one had ever done before, not even Kevin's mother—relentlessly.
By the time Kevin was in high school, he was 6' 11" and his work with Coach McKnight began to pay off. His dreams grew bigger and he began to talk of playing Division One college basketball.
A serendipitous meeting at an AAU event with opposing coach and filmmaker, Franklin Martin, led to the inception of Long Shot. Over the next four years, Martin chronicled the day-to-day struggles of a teenage boy coming to terms with his need for his deceased father's approval by pursuing his seemingly impossible dream of becoming the first one-armed player in the history of college basketball.
Journey with Kevin from his sleepy town in California to the runway of Air Force One and a meeting with the President of the United States...and then into the bright lights of New York City.
Hoopdreams meets Murderball in the uplifting documentary Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story.