Jack playing in a Special Olympics Virginia basketball game
Last weekend, my son Jack was playing basketball with his school league. Jack plays on our local Special Olympics basketball team and for his elementary school league.
The score was 30-30. Eleven seconds left. His brother Sean got a pass but he's triple-teamed. Sean sees Jack is open and passes to him. Sean has passed to Jack five or six times in the game, and Jack missed them, but this one, Jack grabs it and shoots. Off the backboard, perfect shot.
He nailed it. The crowd goes crazy, Jack is beaming. And his team won the game as the clock ticked down from 5 seconds.
Jack doesn't get any slack around the house, and he's playing with his brother and other neighbor kids and they're not cutting him too many breaks. It's the same way with the coaching he's gotten at Special Olympics with his coach, Jim Worden.
Jim's coaching has really helped his skills. He works them hard. As he says, he's "old school." He treats them more like regular kids than a lot of other coaches might. And that's why they play great defense and steal the ball and win against bigger teams. And Jack showed those skills for everyone at his elementary school!
About Mark Gibson: I am the father of Jack, a Special Olympics Virginia athlete in basketball, soccer and track.