Palin: Three Cheers for Basketball Player with Down Syndrome who Appeared on SportsCenter

On Thursday, former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin wrote a Facebook note about Owen Groesser, an "an eighth grader with Down Syndrome who became an overnight social media star" on Wednesday when ESPN played his highlights on SportsCenter.

Palin, an avid sports fan who was a point guard in high school and has a child with Down Syndrome, thanked Groesser's social media fans for using the hashtag "#GetOwenOnSportsCenter" to get him on SportsCenter's nightly "Top 10" segment that highlights the evening's best plays from around the sports world. Goessler made two three-pointers for his junior high basketball team. 

"This is such a beautiful reminder of what gifts from God these children really are. Too often they're not given a chance because of fear -- fear of the unknown, as any shocked parent feels--myself included--when hearing the diagnosis," Palin wrote. "But giving life a chance in these perceived less than ideal circumstances can turn out to be the greatest gift and blessing any family may ever know. Just give life a chance and see how beautiful it is. Today's world needs more of this!"


SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt also recognized how powerful and "awesome" Twitter often can be on Wednesday.

"Sometimes, Twitter is awesome," Van Pelt said before introducing Groesser's highlight. "On Twitter, they said get 'Owen on Sportscenter,' ... he is ... Owen, you're on SportsCenter."

This was another example of how social media has impacted the way even SportsCenter runs its broadcast. In the political world, Palin--after the 2008 presidential election--pioneered the use of Facebook and Twitter to get around the mainstream media's filter and take her message directly to Americans. The media, liberals, and even Republicans resoundingly mocked her at first. Four years later, they all use Facebook and Twitter, which have become vital in the so-called political "conversation."

Palin also referenced Deuteronomy 30:19, which states:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live

Here is her full Facebook post

Three cheers for Owen Groesser, an eighth grader with Down Syndrome who became an overnight social media star after he sunk two 3-pointers for his junior high basketball team in Rochester, Michigan. Thanks to his social media fans using the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportsCenter, he made it on ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays. 

This is such a beautiful reminder of what gifts from God these children really are. Too often they're not given a chance because of fear -- fear of the unknown, as any shocked parent feels--myself included--when hearing the diagnosis. But giving life a chance in these perceived less than ideal circumstances can turn out to be the greatest gift and blessing any family may ever know. Just give life a chance and see how beautiful it is. Today's world needs more of this!

- Sarah Palin

Deuteronomy 30:19

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