CORNING, AR (KAIT) - Over the past seven years, if you attended a Corning basketball game or practice, you would have seen Jacob James working hard filling water bottles, handing out towels, and doing video work for the Bobcats. That was until Tuesday night.
James is a senior at Corning High School, a Special Olympian, and the manager of the Corning boys basketball team. He started working in that position in junior high and has always wanted to suit up for the Bobcats.
On Monday, Corning head coach Chris Murray gave James a jersey and told him he would be playing instead of managing in Tuesday night's games. "I was very excited," said James, "It's my dream to play for my town, my school, to play for them."
He started in the senior high junior varsity contest. He was held scoreless in the first quarter but warmed up in the second. James was fouled while shooting a three pointer and then made all three of the subsequent foul shots. Not long after, he got a fast break opportunity and laid it in for two more points.
The game was tight throughout and James helped his team stay in it. He nailed a three in the fourth quarter to give Corning a one point lead. Marmaduke ended up winning the game by one point.
Despite all the focus on him, Jacob deflected most of the attention to his teammates. "My teammates are the best teammates ever in the world," James told Region 8 Sports, "Those seniors with me, we always joke around and we act like a family."
Jacob's parents, Sandy and William were watching the contest intently and were proud of their son and the support the team and community has show him. "It's just a dream come true, it's awesome," they said, "This little guy has went seven years wanting to play with his Bobcats for so long and tonight is his night and his dream to get to play with the Bobcats."
The game was truly a display of great sportsmanship on both sides of court, but the James' weren't surprised. "I'm so proud of Corning and I want to thank the coaches and the players for being there for Jacob, it's just awesome," said Sandy.
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