US basketball player gives disabled teen in rival team a chance to score

Feb 28, 2013, 04:50 IST | Agencies

A US high school basketball player caused a packed stadium to roar with delight at an end-of-season game by throwing the ball to a developmentally disabled player on the opposing team.

Texas student and avid basketball fan Mitchell Marcus had been appointed an honorary team manager on his high school’s basketball team, the Coronado Thunderbirds.

But at the final game of the season with only two minutes remaining on the clock, Thunderbirds’ coach Peter Morales sent the developmentally disabled teen onto the court to give him a chance to play.

The move almost went pear-shaped as his teammates passed Mitchell the ball a number of times, but he repeatedly missed the shot.

Then, in a touching display of sportsmanship, a player from the opposing team Jonathon Montanez gave up a chance to score a point himself and instead passed the ball to Mitchell.

QR code: Act of sportsmanship gives Texas teen shot at glory

The young player made the shot and the crowd went wild, flooding onto the court and hoisting him into the air. When asked later why he passed the ball, Montanez said, “I was raised to treat others how you want to be treated.”

“I just though Mitchell deserved his chance, deserved his opportunity,” he added. Mitchell’s mom was in the stands to witness the amazing moment and said, “I think I’ll cry about it for the rest of my life.”

“He wasn't going to be able to score, but I was hoping that he was happy that he was just put in the game,” Coronado Coach Peter Morales said about his decision to put Mitchell in the game.

“He’s just an amazing person that our basketball team loves being around,” the coach added.  

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