Every once in a while, a story comes along that simply warms your heart and restores your faith in humanity. This story of a high school basketball manager out of Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas does just that, and will most likely bring tears to your eyes.
This is the story of a young special needs student, Mitchell Marcus, who works as the manager of his school’s basketball team, the Coronado High School Thunderbirds.
Mitchell grew up loving the game, but due to his disability, was never able to play.
During the the team’s final game of the regular season, head coach Peter Morales told Mitchell to suit up. Mitchell, who had never even worn a team jersey before, was ecstatic. What the coach didn’t tell anyone else was that, with an undefeated district record on the line, he also planned to play Mitchell in the final minutes of the game, regardless of how it would affect the outcome.
And so he did.
With 1.5 minutes remaining in the game and his team just up by ten points, Coach Morales told Mitchell to get into the game. As he ran out onto the court, shouts of, “Mitchell! Mitchell! Mitchell!” filled the gym.
His teammates did all they could to help Mitchell score, but he missed shot after shot after shot, bricking some, air-balling others, and even kicking some out of bounds.
Regardless, this is where a good story gets even better.
With the seconds winding down and Franklin High School, the Thunderbirds’ opponent, inbounding the ball, an opposing player, Jonathon Montanez, got Mitchell’s attention. When he did, he passed him the ball and told him to shoot. He and his teammate then stood around and watched while Mitchell kept trying and trying to score.
Finally, with the buzzer mere seconds from sounding, Mitchell scored.
As you can see, the crowd went crazy and hoisted the young man on their shoulders, shouting his name as fans rushed the court.
It may not have mattered much in the long run, as Coronado won the game by fifteen points; nevertheless, it was an incredible display of sportsmanship by Montanez. It’s one turnover he will never forget, nor will Mitchell, his teammates, his mother, his coach, and everyone else who was there to witness such an amazing moment.