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Special Needs Teen Gets Unlikely Assist At Last Second & Crowd Lights Up.

mitchell marcus coronado basketball

Anyone who’s played a team sport knows that winning is great, but what’s more important is showing empathy and compassion – even if it’s aimed at a member of the opposing team.

Two rival high school basketball teams in El Paso, Texas, know this perhaps more than anyone else. During the final 90 seconds of one game a few years back, the Coronado Thunderbirds were leading by 10 points. Though their rival, Franklin, was putting up a good fight, the game was pretty much a done deal.


But here’s the twist: Mitchell Marcus, a developmentally disabled student, served as team manager for the Thunderbirds, and though he had a deep love of the game, he never got the chance to play.

Coach Peter Morales decided to give him a shot during that game and told him to suit up.


His teammates were so excited to have him on the court that they repeatedly tossed him the ball. But each time, he either missed the shot or it went out of bounds.

With less than two minutes left in the game, it appeared he’d missed his big chance.

“He wasn’t going to be able to score,”Peter said later. “But I was hoping that he was happy that he was just put in the game.â€

Then, something incredible happened.


Johnathan Montanez, a senior at Franklin High School, understood what Mitchell’s teammates had been trying to do: Help him get just one basket.

So, standing at the side of the court about 10 feet from the hoop, he called out to Mitchell… and bounced the ball over to him!


Unguarded, Mitchell hoisted the ball up into the air and easily made the shot!

Jonathon later told Steve Hartman that he “was raised to treat others how you want to be treated. I just thought Mitchell deserved this chance, deserved this opportunity.â€


The stadium went WILD, erupting with cheers, rushing the court, and lifting Mitchell onto their shoulders.


Though Mitchell’s shot wasn’t the game decider – Coronado won by 15 points, it did make a huge difference to everyone in attendance. As Steve Hartman said in his report of the game, “Play any game with this much sportsmanship, both teams win.”


“It’s America at its best,”Steve told the El Paso Times. “When I grew up, kids like Mitchell got picked on, and to see how far we have come along is touching. I get emotional thinking about it.â€

Watch the heartwarming moments below, and share if you agree that this story is one of the best things you’ve seen all day!

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