Jason McElwain - A Very Special Night. Jason McElwain, nicknamed "J-Mac" (born October 1, 1988), is an American with autism who made national news in 2006 when he played for four minutes during a high school basketball game and scored twenty points.
McElwain was diagnosed with autism at a young age. He had trouble interacting with other kids, but during his teenage years he began to develop social skills and make friends. McElwain had a passion for basketball, so Greece Athena High School basketball coach Jim Johnson appointed him manager of the team.
On February 15, 2006, Greece Athena was playing Spencerport High School for a division title. Coach Johnson had added McElwain to the roster for the game so McElwain could earn a team jersey. The original plan had been for McElwain to sit on the bench for this last home game of the season unless Greece Athena got a comfortable lead. In that event, he thought he might give the young man a chance to play. With four minutes left in the game, Athena Greece had a double-digit lead, so Johnson decided let McElwain play out the last minutes of the game. When teammates first passed the ball to McElwain he attempted a three-point shot and missed. McElwain got a second chance to score with a lay-up which he also missed. Then, McElwain went on a "hot streak" shooting six three-pointers and one two-point shot, before the game ended. The final score was Greece Athena 79, Spencerport 43. As soon as the final buzzer rang, fans from the stands stormed the court in celebration. Congratulations came from all quarters. He even met with President George W. Bush.
Don't be surprised if Jason's story shows up one day on the silver screen. Columbia Pictures has purchased the film rights.¹
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