Friday, March 03, 2006

A lesson from God on the idea of "I can't"

Hoop Hero

Greece Athena senior Jason McElwain who came off the bench, and in 4 minutes connected on six three pointers. He ended up with 20 points. Autism be darned. CBS Evening News showcased Jason's story on national TV Thursday.We showed the amazing video of an autistic kid who did the unthinkable at a recent Greece Athena basketball game. He scored 20 points in the last four minutes. Dave Yates sat down with this young star about what seems like a fairy tale dream.It really doesn't get much better than this, a true example of how sports can create a positive experience. It was the type of story a Hollywood studio would dream up. The team manager comes off the bench and scores in his final home game. But Greece Athena senior Jason McElwain made this dream a reality and then some, scoring 20 points"My first shot was an airball, by a lot. Then I missed a layup and then as soon as the first shot went in and then the second shot, as soon as that went in I just started to catch fire," says Jason.Like any good Hollywood story, this one has a twist. Not only had Jason never played in varsity game before, he's also autistic."This is the first moment Jason has ever succeeded and proud of himself. I look at autism as the Berlin Wall, he cracked it," says Jason's mom, Debbie McElwain."I've had a lot of thrills in coaching and I've coached alot of wonderful kids, but I've never experienced something like this ever in my life, you know other than my own personal family things. My emotions, I couldn't stop crying," says Athena head coach Jim Johnson.Getting to this point hasn't been easy for Jason. His autism is a condition that has made some people uncomfortable to be around him. Obviously the kids at Athena don't feel that way"He's a cool kid, you just get to know him. You get used to being around him. A couple weeks ago he missed practice because he was sick and you feel differently when he's not around because he brings humor and life to the team," says Athena basketball player Levar Goff.Jason's accomplishment on the court was nice, but he's not done yet."If Jason gets a high school diploma, that will be my biggest success."Jason said that when they lifted him up on their shoulders after the game he felt great...kinda like the way he made everyone around him feel. He wants to dedicate that game to all the graduating seniors at Athena.

Click here to see actual footage.