Coach Peter Morales of the Coronado High School Thunderbirds in El Paso, Texas, makes no qualms about it: he has a favorite on this team. Team manager Mitchell Marcus has a developmental disability, but he far surpasses everyone here when it comes to love of the game.
“He’s just an amazing person that our basketball team loves being around,” Morales says. Mitchell’s mom, Amy, says he’s always been that way. “Mitchell always had a basketball, that was always what he wanted for his birthday,” she says.
And because basketball is that important to him, on the last game of the regular season, the coach told Mitchell to suit up. “I was very happy,” Mitchell says of what it was like to put on the team’s uniform.
Just wearing a jersey was enough for Mitchell, but what he didn’t know — what no one knew at the time — was that the coach planned to play him at the end, no matter what the score.
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