Mitchell Marcus, a special needs student from the Coronado High School in Texas was given the chance of the lifetime after finally suiting up for a game.
The teen who is a team manager for the Coronado Thunderbirds has always watched the game from the sidelines. But during the last game of the season on February 12, coach Peter Morales decided to surprise the teen with a chance to play.
“This kid is very very loyal to your program,” Morales tells ESPN. “He’s dedicated. We’ve had kids that come to this program and play with us and this kid has been more loyal than some of those kids to us because he wants to be here.”
When Mitchell was put in the game, he didn’t have the instant fairytale ending that everyone had hoped.
“Mitchell’s a great shot,” his mother Amy recalled. “He took his first shot and missed. It hit the rim. You just hear the whole crowd sighing. It went out of bounds and Franklin got it. We all knew that he wasn’t going to have his chance.”
At that point, everyone, including coach Morales were surprised by the turn of events. (We won’t spoil it!)
“It’s America at its best,” CBS News correspondent Steve Hartnan explained. “When I grew up, kids like Mitchell got picked on, and to see how far we have come along is touching. I get emotional thinking about it.”
This touching turn of events is reminiscent of 9-year-old Conner who joined races with his disabled little brother, winning the coveted title of Sports Kids of the Year.
Watch the touching video below.