Basketball team assists opposing player with Down Syndrome have his shining moment

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Basketball is life for Jonathan Jacome.

He dreams of basketball. He plays basketball. He breathes basketball.

“I love Lebron James,” said Jonathan. “Lebron James is king.”

Jonathan, a player with Down Syndrome for High Springs Community School, is known for his passionate love for the game. He puts in hours of work and practice and is known for knocking down some epic shots.

“He is a special kid,” said High Springs Community basketball coach Eric Bullis. “He’s a shining example of not allowing challenges and obstacles that you face in life limit what you can accomplish.”

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“Every school this season has definitely shown my son a lot of love and support,” said Jonathan’s mother, Jessica Jacome.

There were several moments this season where other teams helped include her son, but none quite like during the Hawks’ first-round playoff game.

“I wasn’t sure how I even kept my hand steady,” said Jessica Jacome, who was recording her son’s game on her phone.

Lincoln Middle School players and cheerleaders wanted to make sure Jonathan’s last middle school game was one to remember.

“Everybody knows he’s been there for three years,” said Lincoln Middle School player, Dyllan Strappy. “We wanted to give him his last chance in eighth grade to score.”

The Hawks were losing 41-14 to the Terriers, and with just under a minute left, Jonathan, No. 25, came off the bench.

As the “Let’s go, 25″ chants circled the gym, led by the Terriers cheerleading squad, Dyllan stepped up with an assist. After Jonathan missed his first shot, Dyllan rebounded the ball and passed it right back to Jonathan.

This time Jonathan didn’t miss. In fact, he squared up and netted a triple from downtown. Jonathan ran down the court, putting his hands to his temple and then making a number 1 with his finger and pointing it to the sky.

“Very neat to see the other fans and the cheerleaders get behind Jonathan and making that a super special moment for him,” said Bullis.

“I didn’t know who the young man was, I just knew that when I saw what he did at that moment... he did it from his heart,” said Jessica Jacome. “I just want to tell Dyllan, the way that he felt that day and in that moment, to show him the kindness that he did, it didn’t go unnoticed. For me I say thank you, and I know that Jonathan is thankful and grateful for the opportunity for making the shot.

“For a parent it melts my heart.”

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“It feels good to know that I made somebody happy,” said Dyllan. “I hope he continues to play basketball, and I hope to see him in the future.”

Dyllan and his teammates drew up the perfect shining moment to end one chapter of Jonathan’s basketball career.

One chapter, since we all knew with Jonathan’s attitude and love for the game, his career is no where near over.

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