Kevin Atlas Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Kevin Atlas        

First Disabled Player in NCAA History to Receive a Full Division I Athletic Scholarship; Subject of the Film 'Longshot;

At nearly seven feet tall with his left arm discontinued just below his elbow, Kevin Atlas faced his fair share of adversity in his early life. Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, Atlas grew up in a split custody household, overcame the early death of his father, and faced a legion of critics prior to his success. He became one of the top high school basketball players in his home state, played one postgraduate year at a military school in Virginia, and earned a full athletic scholarship to join the Manhattan College Jaspers in New York City. By doing this, Atlas achieved becoming the first disabled player in NCAA history to receive a full Division I athletic scholarship in his sport.

After a successful college career, Atlas went on to play professionally in Asia and has since become one of the top young professional speakers in the nation. Employing a mixture of humor, audience interaction, and a uniquely strong delivery, he tells the story of a life so extraordinary, it was chronicled in the Oscar-qualifying documentary Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story.

In his speeches, Atlas uses his own inspirational journey as a jumping off point to examine the challenges faced by others every day and his triumphs help audiences see their own problems in a new light. He shares his story to help change attitudes and perspectives of youth, corporate, faith-based, and international audiences. Atlas’s engaging manner, easy confidence and comfort around others make his presentation a sure-fire success for audiences of every background and description.

In addition to his domestic speaking, Atlas has inspired audiences in Africa and Europe as well as leading month-long speaking tours in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. He has served as a spokesperson for Boys and Girls Clubs, was a board member at Special Olympics, and has spoken at notable venues such as the United Nations, Google, and Facebook. Atlas is now the host of Believe in You, a motivational video series sponsored by Varsity Brands that is being shown to middle schools and high schools across the country.

Speech Topics

Everybody Has A Nub

When his left arm was severed in-utero, Kevin Laue was left with a “nub” that barely extended below his elbow. Despite his prodigious height, red hair and extraordinary athleticism, the “nub” was the thing that defined him and held him back.

With the help of a dedicated AAU basketball coach, Kevin eventually learned to see his “nub” as a strength rather than a handicap and channeled that strength on to the basketball court where he became the first player missing a limb to play NCAA Division 1 basketball.

Today, Kevin challenges his audience to “find their nub” and turn their own weakness in to a strength by understanding it better.

Topics covered include:

  • The need to innovate; “Sometimes we have to find new ways to do old things”

  • Finding strength in the team around you

  • Overcoming obstacles

  • What it means to be a leader

  • Finding positive direction among negative influences

  • Tales from the basketball court

Related Speakers View all

More like Kevin