Basketball player from opposing team makes dreams of student with disabilities come true (+video)

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27 2013 11:40 a.m. MST

EL PASO, Texas — Would you give the ball to a player on the opposite team during the final seconds of a basketball game?

If your name is Jonathon Montanez, you might.

Mitchell Marcus loves basketball. So much, in fact, that even with a developmental disability, his coach planned to have him play during the team's last game of the regular season.

To Peter Morales, coach of the Coronado High School Thunderbirds in El Paso, Texas, the final score didn't matter. What mattered was that Marcus, the basketball's team manager, have a chance to do what he loves.

Morales was prepared to lose the game.

"For his moment in time, yes," Morales said during an interview for CBS.

Toward the end of the game, teammates passed the ball to Marcus, giving him several chances to make a basket, but Marcus was not able to make a single one. With just seconds left, a failed pass attempt to Marcus led to the ball going out of bounds and being turned over to the other team.

No one expected for Marcus to have another opportunity to make a basket, and Morales hoped just being able to play would satisfy Marcus.

But then an act of kindness occurred, making for one of the most memorable turnovers of all time.

With possession of the ball was opposing player Jonathan Montanez. As Montanez had the ball during the inbound, he yelled Marcus' name and then passed the ball to him, allowing Marcus' to officially make a basket during the game.

"I was raised to treat others how you want to be treated," Montanez said during the CBS interview. "I just thought Marcus deserved his chance, deserved his opportunity."

The original article can be found online at cbsnews.com.

Kylie Lewis is an intern for the Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving a bachelor's degree in communications.

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