The coach decided to put his team manager Mitchell Marcus, who has a developmental disability, into play at the end of the game, no matter what the score. Coach Moralez wanted Mitchell, who loves basketball, to have the opportunity to play.
CBS Evening News reporter Steve Hartman asked Coach Moralez, “You were prepared to lose that game?”
Coach Moralez replied, “For his moment, yes. For his moment in time, yes.”
With a minute and a half left in the game, Coronado was leading by ten points. Coach Moralez put in his manager. Mitchell’s teammates repeatedly passed him the ball, but he struggled to make a shot. With seconds left in the game, Mitchell accidentally sent the ball out of bounds.
Senior Jonathan Montanez, playing for the opposing team, got the ball on the inbound. One commenter on the YouTube video noted that the opposing team, Franklin High School, is Coronado’s arch-rival team.
Jonathan yelled out Mitchell’s name, and threw the ball right to him.
Mitchell caught it, tossed it at the hoop, and scored. And the place went freaking insane. It wasn’t the game-winning shot, but it was the last basket of the game, and certainly the best.
“I was raised to treat others how you want to be treated,” Jonathan said modestly. “I just thought Mitchell deserved his chance. He deserved his opportunity.”
Super-props to everyone involved, but especially to Jonathan–and to his parents, for raising him to be such an outstanding young man.
You can check out the video here. (But get the tissues ready first.)
(Photo Credit: CBS)