The 76ers are right near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. It is not a banner year for NBA basketball in Philadelphia. But there’s plenty of reason for hoops fans in the area to be cheering.
Friday night a hero took to the court in a high school game just outside of the city. Kevin Grow has served as team manager at Bensalem High for four years. The senior attends each and every practice, but during games he sits on the bench. Kevin, who has Down syndrome, doesn’t complain. Instead he continues to work hard, doing whatever his coaches and teammates need to help out.
This time, however, Kevin took matters into his own hands. In the Owls’ second to last game of the season, Kevin got the call. He entered the game against Abington with about a minute and a half to go. Kevin made the most of his playing time.
With the crowd cheering him on, Kevin drained a free throw. Then he came up with a steal and dribbled down the court. As fans looked on hoping for the best, Kevin did not disappoint. He went all the way to the hoop and connected on a lay-up. Students, parents, and fans went berserk.
Kevin’s story on the hardwood is apparently not over. Bensalem has one more game Saturday and all indications point to him getting some more playing time.
Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Owen Groesser of Michigan. Owen also has Down syndrome, and he also had the chance to play for his team late in the season. Then a middle schooler, Owen electrified onlookers by hitting two three-pointers. Later, he captured the imagination of the country when he was featured on national TV. Owen is my favorite long range assassin.
Now, I have another player on my radar: Kevin Grow. He can play defense and drive to the basket with great purpose. He’s an inspiration. I wish him another special game on Saturday.