legalacidity's musings


Without Sports, Where Would We Be?

I decided on the way in to school this morning that I had to comment on the incredible shooting display put on by Jason McElwain a few weeks ago. For those of you who have been living under a rock these past few days, McElwain is the autistic boy who serves as the manager for his high school team in Rochester, NY. He has always loved basketball, loved to play, etc. He was deemed "too small" to play for the school's junior varsity team, so he decided to take on the role of manager, and in three years, he's only missed one game. He gets the team up at practice, he gets them up before games, and he's the biggest cheerleader on the bench during games. The kid has an amazing attitude, one of wanting to do whatever he possibly can to help his team win.

For the last game of the season, the coach let him dress out with no promise of playing. With a huge lead in the second half, McElwain made his first--and last--entrance into a basketball game, to the roar of the crowd. His first two shots were off, and it looked like he wouldn't score. And then, well, Hollywood happened: six three pointers, one two pointer, 20 points. Just like that. The video, if you haven't seen it, is amazing:

Autistic Boy Puts On Basketball Clinic

Heartwarming stuff. The video was so heartwarming that it caused me to get a piece of dirt or something in both eyes. It also made me remember the commercials that ask, "Without sports, where would we be?" We wouldn't be able to appreciate the magnitude of what this kid was able to accomplish. We wouldn't be able to feel joy for him in what will likely have been the biggest and proudest moment of his life. We wouldn't be able to appreciate the kind of effect that he has had on countless sports fans who have seen the video. And, lastly, we wouldn't be able to realize that the greatest people who walk this earth often turn out to be those who we feel the most sorry for, those who seem to be less able to accomplish the greatness that we think that we can. Then, someone like Jason McElwain comes along and reminds us that the unbridled joy that we all want to see or experience is often on display in the meekest of our society. We just need to learn where to look for it.

7:25 a.m. - 2006-03-01

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