February 24, 2006

Awesome short video from last night's CBS News: an autistic student being called into his first basketball game. Watch it until the end, it kicks ass.

posted by mathowie to basketball at 12:55 PM - 39 comments

Very good story. I have worked the the Mentally handicapped people for over 20 years. They have come come a long way, thats for sure, in the last 30-40 years. Thes special "sport strories have been a real fad the last few years with the media. There is more going on than just these stories out there. The fact that these people are even in the regular school is a big step foward. I worked with people living in the community, holding down jobs, buying (yes buying their own homes) Some states and communities are doing better but change is coming. The void between the mentally handicapped and us normal folks is getting better, but its still worse than any form of racism going. (At Least in this country) Thanks for posting the link!

posted by daddisamm at 02:51 PM on February 24, 2006


posted by stofer71 at 02:52 PM on February 24, 2006

I have been coaching youth sports for the better part of 20 years and was in awe when I saw this. If this does't inspire you to work harder or quit whining about your own troubles, nothing will.

posted by PAPhinFan at 03:13 PM on February 24, 2006

That has to be one of the best posts I've seen. Absolutely awesome!

posted by willthrill72 at 03:28 PM on February 24, 2006

Yeah, thatís a great one. Iím so proud of the kid- an apex in his life for sure.

posted by 1651 Naismith at 04:09 PM on February 24, 2006

Wow! But who won the game? I mean it's a great story regardless, but I am curious about the meaningfulness of the baskets.

posted by danostuporstar at 04:15 PM on February 24, 2006

Congrads To THe Kid ANd Also to the Coach And Players who embraced this kid, making him one of their teammates, showing compassion, giving him the opportunity to touch us all like only a kid like him can do.

posted by Ultim8 at 04:18 PM on February 24, 2006

It's not about who won the game. It's about a young man and his 15 minutes of fame. Truly a self esteem builder that will shape him for life. I wish him well.

posted by mustang71 at 04:23 PM on February 24, 2006

His team won, blowout win, thats what allowed the coach to put him in...then he drops another 18...sweeeeeeet.

posted by sfts2 at 04:25 PM on February 24, 2006

I forwarded the link from yesterday to everybody I know. This is definitely one of the most inspiring stories I have ever heard or read about. When I finally got to see the video, everyone in my office gathered around the old computer and shared what has got to be the most uplifting event we could remember. Don't let this story fade without sharing it. What do they call it? An instant classic.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:32 PM on February 24, 2006

GREAT STORY!!!! He should've been playing all year. Way to go kid!

posted by zane71 at 05:10 PM on February 24, 2006

If you don't get "Chicken Skin" from a story like this, something is seriously wrong with you.

posted by dbt302 at 05:48 PM on February 24, 2006

I know this kid and his coach from a basketball team I played for near Rochester, NY. I didn't even know that this kid was on the team until I saw the tape.

posted by nort_12345 at 06:08 PM on February 24, 2006

Rudy who? This kid is what sports is all about. If only the so called pros had a 10th of what this kid has the sporting world would be a much better place.

posted by sonicdog at 06:39 PM on February 24, 2006

I have to admit, I got teary eyed.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 06:47 PM on February 24, 2006

The great thing is the kid actually did it, rather than one of those stories where they put the kid in, the other team lets him score, and maybe the score does not even really count. In this case, they put the kid in and he actually performed.

posted by graymatters at 06:54 PM on February 24, 2006

No way, Disney actually inquired about buying the rights to the story.

posted by mathowie at 07:42 PM on February 24, 2006

Great story. I have a son with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sorry, daddisam, but the old-fashioned term 'mentally handicapped' does not apply. People with ASD have difficulty understanding and interpreting other people's emotions. The thing about most forms of ASD is that you can 'learn' and, to a certain extent, overcome many of the problems. What it needs is good people around you and an environment that is supportive. It looks like the boy in the story, Jason, found that through the basketball team. Maybe it's because the emotions surrounding sport are much simpler than complex human feelings like love - i.e. you score, win - jubilation, you lose, miss - sadness. I would hope that he, like my son, is learning more and more how to function in the world.

posted by owlhouse at 08:02 PM on February 24, 2006

mathowie, Great Post What it must have been like to have been in that gym, those people will talk about this for the rest of their lives. Great story. :o)

posted by Steeler_Fan at 08:17 PM on February 24, 2006

If you don't get "Chicken Skin" from a story like this, something is seriously wrong with you. posted by dbt302 at 5:48 PM CST on February 24 im not sure wut chicken skin is..but if its goosebumps and that feeling u get in ur neck, oo man did i ever get it..a tear is rolling down my cheek as i type this..GREAT story..and to top it off, 6 3-pointers..wow. thats hard to do as a normal athlete, and he goes and sinks em all..great stuff..

posted by bigbadtman at 08:54 PM on February 24, 2006

man i feel so proud for that young man, i hate to admit but it got me teary eyed. Yo owlhouse, wish you and your fam nothing but the best man.

posted by chuy at 09:36 PM on February 24, 2006

I work with kids in the special education field, also. This is a fantastic story, a great clip, and it definitely choked me up. The principal of the school I work for has an autistic son, and when she sees this, she'll fall apart. Excellent post.

posted by dyams at 09:47 PM on February 24, 2006

very cool to see a story like this...that kid could hold his own out there. thanks for posting this

posted by kellermcgee21 at 10:07 PM on February 24, 2006

Awesome! I still have tears in my eyes, way better than anything so far on the Olympics!

posted by gogrizzly at 10:58 PM on February 24, 2006

Now my next question. After the kid hit 6 three pointers is the coach going to play him some more? Obviously the kid has SOME talent. One or even two might be luck. 6 is definately not luck.

posted by scottypup at 07:57 AM on February 25, 2006

Unfortunately, it was the last game of the season. However, I have a feeling that Jason will never forget that moment in his life. Too awesome!

posted by whitedog65 at 08:19 AM on February 25, 2006

I am sorry Owlhouse for my use of "old fanshioned terms." Labels are changing alot in the field. I have worked in the field since my own helath journy ctarted about 4 years ago. I am aware of the greats things that you describe. I want meaning to be a "downer". Who any person has around him.her go to great lengths in contributing to the total package. I am glad that your son is doing well. The learning patterns you describe tha work form ASD are the same the work with others -lets say Downs syndrome. Environment is so important. My point is that therestill is a big void in the field. Not everybody has been as fortunate as your son. It will be nice when we dont have to use lables to describes a person.

posted by daddisamm at 09:21 AM on February 25, 2006

talk about a tear jerker...way to go J-mac!

posted by pipefitter20 at 09:31 AM on February 25, 2006

damn you for making me cry on Saturday morning. damn you to hell!

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:24 AM on February 25, 2006

Previous article Actually it was just the last home game. they still had post season to play. Hopefully others that are around autistic children will hear thsi story and understand that with proper implementation many autistic kids can function well in the mainstream school population.

posted by scottypup at 11:27 AM on February 25, 2006

damn you for making me cry on Saturday morning. damn you to hell! Amen, I had to stop watching the damn thing!

posted by commander cody at 01:57 PM on February 25, 2006

Wow. Just wow.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:05 PM on February 25, 2006

That was beautiful. Steve Hartman does a terrific job presenting the story. And the use of grainy, low-res video just makes it even a little more surreal. And good for both teams and their fans in participating in the celebration!

posted by Excitableboy at 03:43 PM on February 25, 2006

And good for both teams and their fans in participating in the celebration! To tell the truth I think that's the part that may have choked me up the most. After reading seemingly endless stories of vicious parents fighting in the stands at soccor and little league games, to see how all of the fans on both sides reacted gives one hope. They didn't forget that sportsmanship is what sports is supposed to be based on.

posted by commander cody at 03:54 PM on February 25, 2006

As the parent of a child with autism it makes me hope my son will oneday feel that sense of accomplishment. To be like everyone else for one day. I am so happy for his family and him. Here is a scary stat, 1 in 166 kids is born with autism. Think of this boy the next time you find your self acting foolish at your kids games...

posted by IHATELIBERALS at 01:10 PM on February 26, 2006

Think of this boy the next time you find your self acting foolish Acting foolish, as in using a screen name to express hatred for your fellow man? Yeah, I'll have to think about that. Perhaps you should read this. Of course, it's probably written by a bunch of liberals, who, of course, you hate. Liberals may have some political weaknesses, but at least they don't favor relaxing clean air and water regulations. As a parent of an autistic child, I'm guessing you've heard it widely speculated that certain pollutants can lead to birth defects and other developmental problems in children. Of course, if that comes from a political party other than your own, you probably don't want to hear it. Hopefully, you've managed to refrain from expressing your hatred for your fellow man to your child; unfortunately, it rarely works out that way.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:29 PM on February 26, 2006

I must also say that I have read this filter for the past few years and it's great to see the soft side of some usually hard core posters. You are giving me more faith in humanity! I will have this posted on all the autism sites we visit. Daddisam best of luck with you health issues. Owlhouse: Best of luck with your son. With a caring dad like you he is ahead of his peers already. Just remember be his advocate and NEVER take no for an answer.

posted by IHATELIBERALS at 01:37 PM on February 26, 2006

Black Hand Thanks for the link. As an asisde, the IHATE LIBERALS is a tongue in cheek jab at another poster, an old friend. I normally only use this to post to his obvious posts. I forgot to change log on....

posted by IHATELIBERALS at 01:41 PM on February 26, 2006

What's that thing the kids say? PWMemed or something?

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:11 PM on February 26, 2006

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