Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You Can't Make This Up

I'm probably the last person to catch this news story but I must admit I was blown away by the story of Jason McElwan, the autistic high schooler from Athena, NY, who managed the high school basketball team. With 4 minutes left in the last game of the regular season, the coach put Jason into the game where he proceeded to score 20 points -- in 4 minutes. Six three-point shots included.

Here's the link to the CBS News coverage in case you missed it: CBS Evening News video.

I could be in for the full game with nobody on the opposing team in my way and I wonder if I could score 20 points.
You watch the video coverage of the game and it's easy to see that Jason was loved and admired by his classmates. They cheered when the coach decided to let him into the game for a few minutes.
But when this kid caught fire and nailed basket after basket, you can feel the energy in that gym explode. Jason missed his first two shots and the coach, who has an autistic son of his own, just prayed that Jason would get a basket so he would know what that felt like. What happened was pure magic. If it were a movie, it would be so unrealistic a fairytale ending that the audience wouldn't believe it.
The irony of course is that the news reported this morning that Jason and his parents have been flooded with offers from the movie studios to turn his story into a feature film. Maybe with the words "A True Story" flashed all over it, the audience will buy it. For me, I'm not sure what the studios could do to make this more dramatic, or to shoot those 4 minutes in a way that make them any more electric than the live footage in the CBS clip.
Pretty amazing.


pooks said...

I'm having computer issues and haven't seen the clip -- did the opposing team back off for him? Either way it's an amazing story.

And you're right, not only is it an unbelievable ending for a movie, but now everybody knows how it ends!

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