It’s been 5 years since Jason “J-Mac” McElwain ignited the world by coming off the bench at a Greece Athena High School basketball game to score 20 points in the last 4 minutes of a game against Spencerport High School. Scoring 20 points in less than 200 seconds is an epic feat, but that’s not what set the world on fire. Jason wasn’t even on the basketball team, he was the beloved team manager who suffered from autism. The team’s coach added him to the roster for the last home game of the year so that Jason could sit on the bench and have an official jersey.
With only a few minutes left and a comfortable lead, that’s when it happened. Coach Jim Johnson motioned to send Jason into the game. The crowd erupted as the autistic kid they playfully referred to as “J-Mac” entered the game to play his first minutes of competitive basketball. He was so excited to be in the game that his first shot flew wildly over the bucket. He then missed an easy lay-up. The crowd desperately wanted their beloved J-Mac to score… and that’s when it REALLY happened. In one of the most unbelievable moments in sports history, Jason, in his own words, got “hot as a pistol” and hit shot after shot after shot as the raucous crowd erupted over and over. The game ended, the crowd stormed the court and carried Jason around in heroic fashion. It was like the scene from a movie, a movie you would criticize for its lack of realism (Columbia Pictures now holds the rights.) Jason became the talk of the sports world and went on to win an ESPY for the most memorable moment of the year in sports.
For the last 5 years Jason has traveled around the country raising money and awareness for autism. This Tuesday, he visits Niagra Falls High School to deliver an inspirational speech and raise autism awareness but something tells us a pick-up game of basketball might just break out. Jason McElwain is living proof that dreams do indeed come true.
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