February 16, 2013

Oklahoma high school special needs student Nathan Mitcham plays in basketball game, scores eight points

Thanks to the world of Twitter and the Internet, a heart-warming moment for one special needs high school student in Oklahoma came true after he got play for his high school basketball team.

Nathan Mitcham of Owasso High School had yet to play in a game this season for the boys' basketball team and last week, a special Twitter campaign called "#dressNathanOut" got the attention of some famous celebrities including Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

Owasso's final game of the season was against Sand Springs and at first due to Owasso's playoff chances, there was a possibility that Nathan wasn't going see any action. However at the five-minute mark in the second half, Owasso head coach Mark Vancuren sent Nathan into the game and Mitcham had his moment in the sun:
Wearing his special Nike Zoom KD V shoes - a size 11, Thunder-blue and white gift from Sand Springs, stuffed in an orange Nike box signed by dozens of Sandites players and fans (Caleb Smith wrote, "If they don't fit, call me and we can fix that! PS, Get Buckets!") - Nathan launched a 3 from the left corner that just caught the rim. It was rebounded by John Cole Neph, who kicked it back out to Nathan at the top of the key.
He dribbled, twirled, stepped to the left elbow of the free throw line and elevated. His right leg kicked out, his left hand dropped, but the shot went through.
"I didn't know he had that in his game," Owasso guard Jaylen Lowe said. "Nate's a baller, man. He's a baller."

After launching the shot, Nathan wasn't sure if he had hit it or not:
"I didn't think I hit it," Nathan said.
"When that first shot went through, I thought I was gonna need a box of Kleenexes," said Owasso coach Mark Vancuren. "It was just an unbelievable amount of emotion that overcame me."
In the 75-55 victory over Sand Springs, Nathan scored eight points in the final three minutes and was carried off the court by his teammates.

By Ben Chew with No comments


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