Ever hear of a kid named Jason McElwain who is probably better known as J-Mac? If not then you missed out on one of the most inspirational stories ever. This young man with autism was the team manager for his high school basketball team in 2006. He finally got a chance to play in a game so he decided he would make the most of the time he got to play. With about 4 minutes to shine and this kid did not disappoint. He scored 20 points and hit six 3 pointers. When the game ended the whole gym went crazy because they were so happy for this guy.
His story on is on youtube here. The point of this post is to show how many people were affected by J-Mac’s story because of online video. His story is a great read but when put in video form it can touch more people. If a picture is worth 1000 words how many words is a video worth? ESPN was where I saw his highlight reel first so TV could have brought the inspiration once or twice then everyone who missed it was just out of luck. Now anyone who hears about the autistic kid who had never played in a high school game then lead his team in scoring the first chance he got, can see for themselves online. Think about how many families with autistic children were given hope by seeing a short clip on youtube. The video link I put above had 433,000 views and there were many more users with similar videos so I’d say millions were able to access inspiration online.
The video from the game was likely a low cost digital camera and the footage, while not great, was certainly watchable. The fact that the technology was there to capture the game then upload it to ESPN and youtube makes everyone’s life better. Believe me I have watched some crappy NBA games from the 80’s on ESPN Classic and that film was terrible compared to $500 consumer DV cameras today. For all the idiots falling down, breaking things, and generally acting stupid in online videos, at least there are a few stories worth watching and sharing.