ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Texas High School basketball teams were honored for sportsmanship at the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
During the last game of the regular high school basketball season in El Paso, Texas, Coronado High School boys coach wanted to surprise his favorite senior, Mitchell Marcus, by allowing him to suit up for the first time ever.
Marcus, who is developmentally challenged, has been the manager of the boy’s basketball team for 3 years.
Morales took his surprise even further, when he put Marcus into the game with 1 minute left against their biggest rivals, Franklin High School.
Marcus’ teammates passed every ball to him, hoping he might score his first points. But Marcus missed ball after ball.
The last pass they’d thrown had bounced off Marcus, causing a turnover to Franklin.
With 13 seconds left on the clock, the Franklin player who was throwing the ball in, Jonathon Monanez, called out to Mitchell.
“I just decided it was the right thing to do at the right moment to give Mitchell the ball,” Montanez said.
After a couple of attempts, Marcus scored his first points as a Varsity player and the crowd rushed the court chanting “Mitchell! Mitchell!”
Mitchell Marcus’ mother, Amy, still can’t believe what happened that day. “Amazing! It still makes me tear up. it’s pretty incredible,” she said.
What has spawned from that simple of kindness has been national news coverage, a scholarship offer from Texas Tech for Montanez and now this.
”I was in shock! They called me in my classroom and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got a surprise for you guys. We want to bring you guys down to Arlington and watch the sweet 16 and elite 8.’ I basically couldn’t wait to tell my guys,” said Franklin High School Coach Todd Bostic.
The aspiring college players soaked in the atmosphere before they were honored on the court by the NCAA during halftime of the Florida vs. Florida Gulf Coast game.
“It was an amazing night for me,” said Mitchell Marcus.
Two teams, usually rivals, stood together for the love of the game.
“It was amazing moment for an amazing kid,” said Coronado Basketball coach, Peter Morales.
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