Rival middle school basketball teams unite to fulfill one student's dream

Posted at 7:13 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 19:13:18-05

Now, more than ever, it’s important to celebrate our differences and support each other. It’s a lesson middle schoolers learned on the basketball court. Now, rallying around one player has two communities cheering.

“What happened in that game is truly bigger than the game of basketball,” Dr. Jason Shedrick, principal of Bay Point Middle School, said.

Tuesday, two schools waited for one extraordinary player together.

“I like seeing other people happy, it makes me happy,” seventh grader at Bay Point James Fluker said.

Happy is an understatement when you’re talking about the feeling at the Meadowlawn and Bay Point Middle Schools’ basketball game last week. Seventh grader Zachary Owen played his first game, and scored points, with an assist from both teams. Zachary is a special needs student at Meadowlawn who has been practicing with the team all year. 

“I wanted to pass him the ball because like you don’t see that every day,” Fluker said.

Both teams held a surprise celebration of Zachary’s feat. 

“Without the other team cooperating, helping, showing sportsmanship, none of it would have come together, and so it was really really neat to see the other team even pass him the ball a few times,” Zachary’s dad, Greg Owen, said.

“Do you feel pretty proud of yourself?” Zachary’s mom asked. 

His smile said it all. He got a signed basketball and was surrounded by support. Both principals hope their students remember what they learned when there’s no hoop nearby and no one is watching.

“It’s about people, regardless of where you are, where you’re from, what ethnicity, what race, what background, it’s about people, and being good to people,” Shedrick said.

A simple act of kindness has helped Zachary feel great, and that means more than any win ever could.