“Jason’s Gift Becomes a Gift for Us All”

“Jason’s Gift Becomes a Gift for Us All”

Written by Webmaster

Topics: .Passion, Inspiration

An autistic 17-year-old’s astounding three-point shooting spree in his high school team’s last regular season game would inspire millions of online video, news, and sports viewers, and win him national recognition and honors in addition to the heart and souls of us all.

Diagnosed with autism at a young age, Jason McElwain initially had trouble interacting with other kids; however, during his teenage years he began to develop social skills and make friends. “J-Mac” as he is affectionately known, had a passion for basketball, so Greece Athena High School basketball coach Jim Johnson appointed him manager of the team.

As manager of the team, Jason’s job was to help run drills and hand out water bottles. While he might have dreamed of playing, any chance seemed highly unlikely.

Then, on February 15, 2006, with Greece Athena playing Spencerport High School for the division title and Greece Athena sporting a large lead, Jason got his chance, a gift of a lifetime. Coach Johnson decided to play Jason in the last four minutes.

After missing his first two shots badly, J-Mac went on a tear! He launched and made one distant three-point shot, then another, and another! Jason made a total of six “three-pointers” and one lay-up for a total of 20 points! As the final buzzer sounded, the crowd stormed the court in celebration while his teammates lifted him onto their shoulders in victory!

Randy Hutto, Greece Athena High’s Athletic Director was quoted as saying, “If I retired today, this would be the ‘one thing’ I talk about, forever!”

Jason’s heroics would be further memorialized when he went on to win ESPN’s “ESPY Award” for the “Best Moment in Sports” for 2006, beating out the NBA’s 81-point game by Kobe Bryant and George Mason University’s NCAA College Basketball Championship Final Four appearance.

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