Boy with special needs makes basketball shot of a lifetime - KPTV - FOX 12

Boy with special needs makes basketball shot of a lifetime

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WOODBURN, OR (KPTV) -

A local boy is flying high two weeks after he made an incredible shot in the final minutes of a basketball game between two middle school teams.

Mikey Garcia, 12, has special needs and hasn't had many opportunities to play basketball throughout his lifetime. Basketball is his favorite sport.

His face lights up when he shows off his basketballs, his foam fingers and his Duke University T-shirt. It's been his dream to play in a game.

"You want to dunk it and break it?" Mikey's father, Efrain Garcia, said Wednesday during an interview with FOX 12 at his Woodburn home.

"Yeah," Mikey replied.

For the past several years, Mikey has served as an assistant coach for his father, who coaches a local middle school team.

A few weeks ago, his father decided it was time for Mikey to live out his dream.

"This year, I was like ... he's going into eighth grade. I probably won't be able to coach him. So, this is the last chance," said Garcia. 

That last chance came on March 13, during the final game of the season between seventh-graders at French Prairie Middle School in Woodburn and Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove.

Garcia had talked to his fellow coaches before the game about giving his son an opportunity to play in the final game. During the second quarter, Mikey put on a jersey he had received the day before and went in the game.

"It was halftime and he goes, 'I want to play more,'" said Garcia. "And I said, 'well buddy, fourth quarter you will.' And he was like 'OK.'"

With 2 1/2 minutes left in the game, Mikey went in again.

He caught a bounce pass, shot the ball in the air, and missed the basket by a few feet.

"I saw the first shot, and it didn't go in. And I said 'hey, at least he got to shoot. That's what he got to do,'" said Garcia.

Suddenly, the opposing team had the ball. Instead of rushing to the other end of the court, Tanner Mannen decided to give Mikey another shot. Mannen was a player for the opposing team. 

Mikey took another shot and missed.

When he got the ball again, something amazing happened. It went in.

"Cool," Mikey said about the shot.

"I was really, really happy. I mean ... it looked like he tried so hard. And he got frustrated and he finally made it. And it made him really, really happy," said Mannen.

Tanner told FOX 12 that after seeing the smile on Mikey's face, he couldn't help but tear up.

It was a dream come true for Mikey, who can't wait to get back out on the court next season to do it again.

"Yeah," Mikey said when asked if he was glad he got to play.

"For Mikey to play and make it, it was awesome. But making it was pretty, pretty unreal," said Garcia.

Mikey's team ended up losing the game by 18 points. But Mannen told FOX 12 that the score didn't matter to anyone who was at the game.

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