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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Struck Strikes Out: Mankind 20 points closer

Monday, March 6, 2006

The sports world, and maybe even the whole world, is abuzz over the miraculous high school basketball game that played out in Upstate New York last week.

The story concerns an autistic high school senior boy who was cut from the basketball team in middle school and had since served as basketball manager for the JV and varsity boys teams.

In the team's final home game of the season on Senior Night, the boys varsity coach promised the boy he could suit up and, if the situation warranted it, he would try to get him in the game. He made no promises.

Well, up by 20 points with about four minutes left in the game, the coach motioned the kid into the game. Understandably excited, the boy ran out on the floor, only to be summoned back to officially report in at the scorer's table.

What happened next is so unbelievable, so surreal, so poignant, so telling, that it would bring an executioner to tears.

In anticipation of him getting into the game, the student body had photos of the kid's face on sticks and began waving them wildly, with the entire crowd on its feet cheering.

The kid finally got to take a shot with about 3:30 left in the game and air-balled one from the corner. But, from then on, the kid sank 7-13 field goals, including 6-10 three-pointers to finish as the game's high scorer with 20 points!

The other team was trying to defend him, but he just kept shooting the long-range bombs and hitting nothing but net.

After each bucket, the place went wild, with even the visiting fans standing, cheering and crying at the incredible scene.

Especially telling to me were the reactions of the kid's teammates, the star players by now substituted for and on the bench, most of them black.

After each basket the kid made, the players on the bench, by now standing in unchecked celebration, would jump and cheer and hug each other, filled with the utter joy of it all.

And, at that moment in time, there were no wars, no jealousy, no skin color, no politics, no divisional lines... there was just, well, the magnificent color of one very happy family of humanity savoring the unimaginable sweetness before them in a world only sports can provide.

Together.

Like it should be out on the street.

Like it should be country to country.

Like it should be everywhere.

If you've seen the video on ESPN or another TV station and still have doubts that there is Someone Up There, please visit a church of your choice this Sunday.



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