Dude Be Nice: Kevin Laue

Dude+Be+Nice%3A+Kevin+Laue

Ryan Factora, Staff Writer

   Kevin Laue is no stranger to tragedy. When he was born, he underwent a life-saving operation that caused him to lose half of his left arm. As a child, he was bullied by all of the other kids because of his physical disability. When he was 10, his dad died of cancer. By this time in his life, he was completely crushed. He was bullied because he was physically disabled, wasn’t doing well in school, and his dad, the person he loved most, had just died.

   But he didn’t let any of that stop him.

   To cap off Dude Be Nice Week at West Ranch, speaker Kevin Laue talked to students about his own life experiences.

  “For me, sports changed everything,” said Kevin. He tried soccer, football, and various other sports but  none of them were right for him. Eventually, he finally found the sport that was for him- basketball.

  After Kevin found the sport that was right for him, he faced yet another obstacle. When he tried out for his junior high school basketball team, a coach rejected him from the basketball team. The coach told him that basketball was a two arm sport. Yet again, Kevin was crushed. However, one day, Kevin had an encounter with another coach that changed him; he told him to accept his “nub” and start using it in basketball.

  

“Just by accepting this arm, not only was I more successful, I was happy,” said Kevin.

   With his newfound acceptance of his “nub,” the 6 feet eleven inches player improved his basketball skills and by junior year, was the star of his basketball team. After going to military school, he later got a scholarship to play basketball at Manhattan College.

  “I went from not being able to read in the third grade to graduating top of my class in military school,” said Kevin.

   Throughout his speech, Kevin added anecdotes about his encounters with various people who were inspired by his perseverance. He told students about how he helped a boy who was bullied for having one arm like him by coming to his school. He talked about how he helped a supermodel cope when she lost her right leg in a freak accident.

   These encounters and Kevin’s own hardships motivated him to share his own story with kids around the world.

  “I became a motivational speaker because it was the best way to impact the world in a positive way,” he said.

  Kevin has been traveling all around the world now, speaking to people in Asia, Africa, and Europe. He talks to businesses, faith groups, and students about his story.

  “Kevin definitely taught me that the imperfections about yourself are the things that make you perfect in your own way,” said sophomore Sam Haro.

  “Kevin inspired me to never have an excuse to not do something great or incredible,” said junior Amira Graham. “Nothing should be an excuse for me to make a change.”

  Kevin’s main message during his speech was not to give up despite all the hardships in life. “There are times in life when it will be hard. It happens to everyone. How you react to these tough times will define the person that you are,” he said. “You can wake up everyday and tell yourself that whatever is holding you down isn’t going to anymore and if you wholeheartedly believe that you can take over the world!”