It’s an amazing story. A high school basketball coach gives Jason McElwain, an enthusiastic autistic boy, a role as team manager. In his senior year, the coach promises him a jersey and a chance to play in the game on Senior Night. Luckily, the team has a nice point spread, so the coach puts him in during the last few minutes. The crowd is thrilled and the players are good sports about it, feeding the boy the ball.
And then he makes one long-range basket after another, scoring 20 points, including a buzzer-beater at NBA three-point range, to become the leading scorer of that game. The crowd storms the floor and hoists him on their shoulders – a sports hero! Later, he and his coach are interviewed on practically every national TV venue. They win an ESPY award. They meet the President. Studios want to make movies.
How could this happen?
This is the true story of A Coach and a Miracle, a book by the coach, Jim Johnson, and the co-author, Mike Latona. It’s the story about the kind of coach you want your child to play for, a man who cares more about developing his players as human beings than he does about winning–even though he cares very much about winning.
And it’s a story about helping mentally challenged kids to reach their full potential, which is far greater than most adults believe it is.
Here’s what happened that night…
If you know a mentally challenged child, you need to read this book.