Extraordinary sportsmanship: Opposing team helps player with Autism score his first basket

(Photo courtesy of Brandi McKinney)

BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- It might have looked like a regular basketball game, but the lesson the teams taught the crowd makes what happened extraordinary.

14-year-old David Johnson made his first basket of the season at his game Monday night, but it was who passed him the ball that had the crowd cheering in the name of sportsmanship.

David's mother, Janell Johnson, says basketball is her son's favorite sport.

"It gives him the chance to run, and be part of the team and feel like he's just part of something," she said. "As long as he gets to play and be in there with the other guys, he's happy

Johnson said her son was diagnosed with autism when he was four-years-old.

His first play off game for the Bedford Rockets was special thanks to his teammates, and even the other team.

"It's not all about winning, it's about learning, a growing process," said Rockets' coach Tony Parker. "We've come across teams that you know have overlooked him so for me to see that from another team out of Montvale, for them to do that to see him score was very touching."

The opposing team, the Montvale Sharks, surprised the stands.

The Sharks continued to pass David the ball until he made his shot.

"Everybody went crazy for him, I know it meant a whole lot," said Derrick Spinner, the assistant basketball coach.

"It brought me to tears, I just felt a lot of love in my heart," said David's mother.

David's team, the Bedford Rockets, will have their next playoff game in Bedford on Saturday.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off