Thursday, November 3, 2011

One of the greatest video's I have ever seen

Although a little off topic of our textbook, I wanted to post this video to everyone who hasn't seen it before. In a school located in Greece/ Athens, Rochester, NY, a senior in high school, who happened to be a highly functioning autistic, was the varsity basketball team manager. He was loved by the team, coach's and school which is what really made this event so special. His name: Jason McElwain, a highly enthusiastic and motivated manager who would do anything from his teammates and friends. After listening to his players, it sounds like everyone loves his intensity, and loves having him around everyday to help keep the team on track, and help the coach during practices. However, on the last regular season game, the head coach told Jason he will be given the chance to put on an actual uniform and be on the bench. With four minutes left, coach put Jason in the game, praying he would make a basket. It was at this time where everyone started taking a deeper breathe, wondering if this was really the right thing to do. His first shot; missed by a lot. His second shot; missed again. Everyone was itching for Jason to hit a shot, just hoping it would come at this moment. The next time down the court, Jason gets the ball at the three point line and HITS! The crowd goes crazy, and Jason goes on to hit his next 5 shots, making it 6 IN A ROW! Personally, I would like to know how many high school athletes have done that all year because that is extremely hard to do, especially in his situation with everyone watching. It was awesome how Jason's last shot went in at the buzzer so the team rushed the court to celebrate with him which gave me the chills while watching it. People like Jason are the ones who are going to make a change in this world. If you were to watch this video with no sound, I wonder how many people would know he was diagnosed with Autism, and rather think it was a highlight film for a great basketball player. A question I have is, could Jason have played on this team regularly, or was this a fluke? Being involved with a team for such a long period of time and practicing as much as he did, I'm sure his basketball skills were pretty decent. In this situation, Jason looks like the team manager position brings him more joy than sitting on the bench, but that's not for me to say. Another interesting part about this video is the reactions of the faculty and teammates after this happened. The athletic director was stunned and said he will be talking about this moment for the rest of his life. The head coach said he would not have believed it if he didn't see it with his own eyes, and his teammates said he was loved by everyone in the school, definitely the 'popular guy.' At the end of the interview, the announcer said a quote from Jason, "I'm used to feeling different, but not this different." It's different to hear somebody with a disability say that, and be aware of what just happened. He realized that he was autistic and that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he will never forget. While working with students with disabilities in my adapted physical education class, I can see students who have the capability of doing the same thing as Jason, Being apart of a team, and making a difference on that team, is just as good as being a player. The problem is getting students involved and being accepted in these situations, that probably makes coach's and faculty turn there head and not even try to get these students involved. This just goes to show, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!

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