Thursday, March 02, 2006

Revisiting an old discussion

A few months ago, we talked about sports. Well, we talk about sportas all the time, but a few months ago anonymous wanted to know what sports did for us. Why we liked it so much.

And I, along with people commenting, gave the standard answers about sports and the values it teaches.

But this week, there was an incredible sports story coming out of Greece Athena High School, in Rochester, New York. If you follow sports at all, you've heard the incredible story of Jason McElwain, a high-functioning autistic kid who scored 20 points in 4 minutes on senior day for the varsity basketball program.

The most incredible aspect of the story is the support this kid got from his teammates, classmates and friends. Kids are generally not supportive of the weakest kid, the kid who is different, who doesn't fit into their perception of normal.

We read stories all the time of kids like this being bullied mercilessly by their classmates. But here is a story od a high school that embraced J-Mack, made him into an integral component of their high school basketball athletic program, and rewarded his dedication to the team with an opportunity to put on the uniform and play one game, on Senior day, in front of his home crowd.

The student section was filled with students holding J-Mack's picture, and when he hit his first three pointer, the gym exploded. Five more times he hit the three pointer, and five more time, the gym exploded in excitement, each time a little more enthusiastic then the last.

We watch sports for a million reasons, but one of them is to watch the underdog, the weak kid, a kid who most people would pass without giving a second look, have a chance to do something heroic.

Jim Rome spent two hours talking about J-Mack yesterday, first interviewing the coach, and then, talking to clones for the rest of his show.

My friend, NoahDaddy, has an autistic son. You can read what he wrote about how J-Mack's incredible four minuutes affected him.

You can see the ESPN piece on this story by going to clicking here and then choosing the link Autistic boy scores 20 in varsity basketball game.


Blogger Veev said...

I didn't know he blogged.

March 02, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

yeah. he just restarted it.

March 02, 2006 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very touching, very inspiring.

i just dont see getting so involved in an activity (nonactivity?) for a lifetime just for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

couldnt you just watch the blessed sports event when it occurs without running your life around the s word?

March 02, 2006 11:04 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I suppose we could just watch the game and move on, but talking about sports at Sholosh SHudas is a lot better than talking about relationships.

March 02, 2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Emah S said...

As a former (and maybe once again eventually) teacher of young kids with disabilities (including autism), this story touched me too! thanks for sharing...

March 02, 2006 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anything is better than talking about relationships.
even sports.

March 02, 2006 10:49 PM  
Anonymous William Viano said...

Hey J Mack great job this proves if you try you can do anything and forget the PROS you are the best nice job and excellent game can you play hockey because the Boston Bruins can use you God Bless Billy V

March 14, 2006 10:59 PM  
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March 05, 2007 12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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April 23, 2007 6:32 PM  

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