Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hats off to Jason McElwain of Rochester, NY

I knew when I saw the preview before the commercial break that I would find myself a blubbering wreck in just a few minutes, but I could not make myself turn away. CBS News’ Bob Schieffer told us that if we like Hollywood endings, then we should stay tuned for an upcoming story. I had actually heard a snippet about the story earlier in the day. It involved basketball. It involved an autistic, bench-warming water-boy who was given his chance to play after years of dedication to his job, on senior night at his High School, Greece Athena, in Rochester, NY.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer improbability of what happened next. The coach called the kid’s number with four minutes left to play. The kid, who was known for his enthusiasm for the game, went in and attempted about three shots and missed all three, but the crowd, both the home and opposing team’s fans were going wild. Then it really started. This kid hit six straight three-point baskets and one two pointer to score twenty points, the last shot going in from three-point land just as the buzzer sounded. When the game was over, the fans from both schools rushed the court and I sat here in my chair sobbing while looking at them romp around their new hero.

I am such a sucker for a story about an underdog.

You can read about this unbelievable event and watch a video clip as well in the story "Hoop Hero" at WROC TV's website from Rochester, New York. To watch the video, click on the word low or high to indicate which resolution you choose.

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