Teen With Down Syndrome Becomes Local Basketball Star - KMSP-TV

Teen With Down Syndrome Becomes Local Basketball Star

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Bensalem, PA -

The biggest moments in sports don't always happen in the biggest games. Sometimes, the plays you remember forever take place in a meaningless blowout.

Kevin Grow is an 18-year-old senior for the Bensalem Owls. On Saturday, he scored 14 points in a "Senior Day" victory over Neshaminy High, but in this case, the box score doesn't tell the whole story-- not even close.

There were two minutes to go in the last game of a disappointing season for Bensalem High, but for this last game, the Owls had an insurmountable lead.

It was an unlikely time for a 'memorable moment,' but then a funny thing happened. Grow, number 33, for four years a team manager, squared up and sank a three-point bomb.

Kevin has Down syndrome. He says he's always dreamed of getting into a real game.

Kevin's coach, John Mullin, says this had been in the works...for weeks. He says Kevin's a gift to the team.

"We get more from him than we could give him," Mullin said. "I said, 'Kevin, I want to get you in a game for Bensalem.' And he lowered his head and said, 'oh, jeez.'------ he's like, 'I'm team manager.' I said, 'no Kevin, I want you to wear the team uniform and represent Bensalem, because you deserve this.'"

Mullin says Kevin practices every day with the team. He does the drills and the team does not leave practice until he makes a foul shot.

On Kevin's next trip down the court, he clanked a three-point attempt, but an offensive rebound put the ball back in his hands for another bomb. He did not miss this one.

Kevin said it made him very happy to see all of the people cheering.

Then, after another trip down the court, Kevin made another long range jumper and then another three-point field goal. Kevin says he had long dreamed of a moment like this.

Finally, with the clock ticking down, Kevin nailed another trey- his fourth of the game. His teammates, the guys for whom he had fetched water and snagged rebounds in practice mobbed him.

"It was absolutely surreal. Felt like I was in a Disney movie. I just couldn't believe what was going on," Mullin said.

Years from now, few will remember the final score of this game or Kevin Grow's exact point total, but maybe they'll remember the lesson they learned from a bunch of kids in an otherwise meaningless athletic contest.

"Given a chance, you never know what'll happen and that's all Kevin got was a chance and he made the most of it," Mullin said.

On Senior Day, it's tradition that senior players start, but there were five other Owl Seniors in addition to Kevin. Coach Mullins tells us three of them volunteered to give up their spot so he could start and score an early bucket.

FOX 29's Chris Murphy talked to the team, including Kevin on Tuesday morning.

"I feel happy," Grow tells Murphy.

"I've been to NBA finals, two gold medal games...and... I've never a feeling like this in my life," said Coach Mullin, who's brother is a Hall of Famer. "It couldn't have happened to a better person. Kevin works hard everyday!"

Kevin's teammate spoke for the team, "[Kevin] deserves all of this..."

The team rallied around Kevin and gave him high fives, a great way to end off the season. The season was a triumph after all!

Watch the full live interviews above.

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