On Tuesday, nine Lansing Eastern seniors played their final basketball games ever at Don Johnson Fieldhouse. One senior with the odds against him made it an unforgettable night.
To build a program, you need to have the right kind of people around.
That's why last fall Julius Edwards gave senior John Manuel a shot.
"He showed a passion to play and I said, 'if you come out, I'll let you play with us,' because if you got a passion to play, we need passionate people around," Edwards said. "Just come out and work hard."
Neither cerebral palsy nor Crohn's disease kept John from playing his first year of basketball. His lone season culminated Tuesday on senior night. With the Quakers up by ten points with under a minute to play, he checked in.
"He's like one of those kids that never gives up," Edwards said, "so we wanted to give him an opportunity to get a shot up."
And with about 30 seconds left, that shot went up.
It didn't go in.
But with the crowd chanting his name, he got another chance.
He scored his first career points.
"It felt like the best thing in the world, honestly," John said. "This is my first year ever playing and coming off the cerebral palsy, it didn't help. But hey, I made the shot!"
It was a fitting way to leave Don Johnson Fieldhouse: the kid who was brought in to inspire a team did just that. The kid who was given a shot, made it.
"This is my family and I'm going to miss them when i'm graduated."