‘It was a proud moment,’ coach says after area player with cerebral palsy scores first points of varsity career
HICO, Texas (KWTX) - Two Erath County high school varsity basketball teams worked together to help a senior player with cerebral palsy and other challenges score the first points of his varsity career in a moving moment caught on camera.
Teammates rebounded and dished it back out to Jonathan Davis, 18, for a total of six missed three-point attempts in a row, followed by a layup on one side and the other before Jonathan got the last rebound himself and put it back in for two points as Jonathan’s Lingleville Cardinals played the Three Way Braves on Jan. 2 in the Hico Junior High School gym.
“In that moment I realized I was going to score but I didn’t quite make a three so I went in for a layup,” Jonathan told KWTX.
“I didn’t make that either so I backed up and made a shot.”
And when he did, fans on both sides of the gym went wild.
It’s no surprise because Jonathan is a team and fan favorite at the 1-A school just outside of Stephenville in western Erath County.
He was born with cerebral palsy and a genetic disorder, but he’s never let the challenges get in the way of anything he wanted to do, including sports.
Jonathan plays on the school’s football team whose head coach is his dad, Ken Davis.
His mom, Kelly, is a first grade teacher in the district.
Jonathan also participated in the Erath County Special Olympics as a sprinter and he’s on the roster of coach Steven Bailey’s varsity basketball team, and he never misses a practice.
“Honestly, I felt very happy for Jon,” Bailey said.
“He deserves this. Jon works really hard. He comes to practice every day. He is a great kid. He follows all the rules. He is a joy to have around and so when I saw all the guys working together to get Jonathan the bucket, it was a great moment for everybody.”
Coach Bailey says what happened on Jan. 2 wasn’t part of his game plan, which made the moment much more special.
“It was not my idea,” Bailey said.
“When we talked in the huddle, Jon was going into the game. He played half the game almost and when he was going into the game, I said ‘Jon go shoot’ and from there the rest of the guys took over so this was a team effort. This was something they decided.”
One of the players who made it happen with a rebound and dish out to Jonathan was 15-year-old sophomore Rogelio Rangel.
“We chose to do this because we love him and we care for him,” Rogelio said.
“We wanted him to have some shots and get some points on the scoreboard.”
Teammate Joseph Briseno, 15, was part of the action, too.
He said seeing Jonathan’s face light up when the ball went in the bucket was something he’ll never forget.
“Just by looking at Jon’s face you could tell he was on top of the highest mountain the world at that moment,” Briseno said.
“It just made me feel really good about myself and about how the team and how Three Way helped us out to make that possible.”
Everyone praised Three Way’s players, who spontaneously stepped back on defense and even helped with rebounding, even though they weren’t given a heads-up beforehand about Jonathan’s situation or his teammates’ plan.
“It was very respectful for them to let us pass it to him and get an open shot to make. That way he could be happy that day,” Rangel said.
“It was heartwarming. I didn’t expect them to do that. Being the opposing team, they didn’t have to help us out but they did,” Briseno added. Coach Bailey couldn’t agree more.
“I can’t say enough great things about Three Way. The way they helped him and gave him the opportunity to score. They were even giving him rebounds at times. I am very impressed with the leadership of their head coach and those kids, as this was such a special moment for Jonathan, his parents and our entire team as you can see from the video.”
Jonathan said scoring the bucket made him feel “strong and powerful.”
He actually ended up scoring two more points before the end of the game in a similar fashion.
Jonathan’s team won the game 72-12, but the senior from Lingleville who has overcome so much says it was those first two points of his varsity career that he’ll never forget.
“I want to say thank you for helping me and I’d also like to say to Three Way thank all of you for helping me. Even though we were the opposing team to you in the game.”
“The thing that made me the happiest was just how much you see the team really jump for joy,” Coach Bailey added.
“They were just all so happy. It was a proud moment.”
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