Basketball Hero

March 11, 2011
On June 24, 1994, Scotty Nelson was born. He, his mother, and father lived in Raleigh,
North Carolina. When Scotty was three years old, he was diagnosed with Autism. Scotty was just like any other kid on the outside, but he was much different on the inside. Scotty was mentally slower than most kids his age and had troubling speaking. Most people that knew Scotty could not even tell that he was autistic.
In Scotty’s junior year of high school, he decided to join the basketball team. Scotty wasn’t much of an athlete and was only 5’ 8” and weighed around 90 pounds. He also had no knowledge of the game but still was very confident in himself and wanted to give it a try. Scotty’s high school team, The Middletown Spartans, won the state championship last year and were awarded with a national schedule this year. The Spartans had a near perfect season, finishing 22-3 heading into the national playoffs. Although Scotty had only played about 5 minutes all year, he was still overwhelmed to be heading to the national playoffs.
Scotty’s team traveled to schools around the country playing other high school teams. The Spartans didn’t struggle a bit, winning all of their 6 games by a combined 54 points. The Spartans hadn’t lost a game yet and were awarded with the Number 1 spot on The ESPN Power Rankings. Scotty’s team was to play in the national championship against the Golden State Tigers at their home court in California.
On the morning of April 16th, The Middletown Spartans, all thirteen of them, loaded into the giant yellow school bus where they would drive to a nearby airport and board a flight to California. The flight took four and a half hours and when the plane landed, the reality of being playing in the National Championship in less than three hours kicked in.
The game was to be played in the Stephen G. Curry gym, the home of The Golden State Tigers. When the Spartans bus arrived, they were astonished. The gymnasium was huge and hundreds of people were waiting to get in. Inside the locker room, emotions were high. Everyone was so nervous that even a few players couldn’t stand because they were shaking so badly. The Spartans dressed up in their green and white jerseys and were ready to take center stage.
Once the announcer called their names, they stormed the court. The gymnasium was filled with blue and yellow t-shirts. People were waving gigantic blue and yellow flags and swinging blue and yellow towels. The crowd all booed and some fans even threw drinks and other things at the players. When the Golden State Tigers made their way to the floor, the entire gym erupted into cheering. The gym seemed to shake and all around you was blue and yellow. A feeling of anger came across Scotty’s and the rest of team when everyone cheered for The Tigers. After the National Anthem, the game began.
Scotty sat on the bench and watched his team go up by 5 points, then go down by 5 points. The game was a very close game from the start. The first quarter went by and Scotty still hadn’t played. Then the second quarter was over and still, no playing time for Scotty. Scotty was sure that his coach would put him in somewhere in the 3rd quarter but still, no luck. Finally, when the Spartans were down by 2 points with one minute left in the 4th quarter, John Calibri, the team’s starting shooting guard, rolled his ankle and Coach Johnson told Scotty to get in the game. Scotty, puzzled by his coach’s decision, stumbled onto the court. His team came down court and his point guard called a play. Scotty didn’t know any of the plays so he just aimlessly ran around. Then back on defense, Scotty had no idea what to do so he just ran at whoever had the ball. Finally, the point guard made a bad pass and Scotty intercepted the ball. Scotty ran down the court, unorthodoxly, and as time expired, just threw the ball at the hoop. Scotty was fouled and was about to get 2 foul shots but his basket went in as time expired and the game tied at 88! If Scotty could sink this free throw, The Spartans would win. The gym erupted as the fans tried to distract Scotty. Ignoring the crowd, Scotty stepped up to the line, took a deep breath, and shot.

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