Kevin Atlas is the latest motivational speaker to join the keynote lineup for the 2023 International Physical Literacy Conference. At nearly seven feet tall, with his left arm discontinued just below the elbow, the basketball star faced his fair share of adversity during his early life. Now he will share his experiences in a talk titled “Believe in You” on May 5.
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. In doing so, Atlas became the first player with a disability 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. Atlas’ 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 in North America, 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. Kevin 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 U.S.