Video: Special needs player goes offSee every single one of James Brown's game-high 25 points.James Brown
of Centerville (S.D.)
got in the game and saw some action Monday. That's a significant accomplishment for the young man who was born with cerebral palsy.
The fact that he led all scorers with 25 points? Well, that's more than a significant accomplishment. That's magical.
The winless Tornadoes lost 80-45 to Bridgewater/Emery (Bridgewater, S.D.)
, the top team in South
Dakota's Class B rankings. Still, it was a very special night in the senior's final home game, as he included three 3-pointers and three rebounds as part of his big scoring night.
"I wanted to reward James for being an inspiration to our team and called the opposing head coach to tell him of his situation," Centerville head coach Kory Muller said. "Bridgewater/Emery showed a great deal of sportsmanship and class by slipping him a couple of rebounds and letting him shoot open shots. He won the tip and hit the first basket of the night. But I had no idea James would have 18 points by halftime and lead the game in scoring. That's what made the game so memorable."
The event also united a community.
"It was a night James and an entire community will never forget," Brown's aunt Roxy Davis said. "Every time he scored the opposing team gave him a high five. After the game, the entire gymnasium gave him a standing ovation, and the opposing team lined up at half court to take a photo with him. It was a beautiful experience."
Brown's special game occurred almost exactly 11 years after arguably the most viral high school special needs story of all-time. High-functioning autistic teen Jason McElwain of Greece Athena (N.Y.) drained six 3-pointers and recorded 20 points in the final four minutes of a game before moving on to a life featuring meetings with U.S. Presidents, book deals, a film deal in Hollywood and a one-game professional contract.