When high school sports gets it right

If you’re the type to toss the sports section of the Star Tribune to the side, you probably missed a story that should’ve been on the front page.

It’s the story of Holy Angels boys’ basketball manager Nick Anderson, an 18 year old with cerebral palsy. At Breck School yesterday, the team was in a close game. But the two coaches had already engineered the moment that Anderson says he waited for all his young life — the chance to step onto the court as a player.

The saddest part of the story? Some people felt it was a move that needed to be defended.

Representatives from the Minnesota State Council of Disability were hesitant to speak on the matter, but Courage Center sports coordinator Taavasa “Jr.” Mamea praised the situation. The mission of Courage Center is to empower people with disabilities to realize their full potential in every aspect of life and Mamea believes Anderson scoring would not only help him do this but many others.

“I think people that would be against that don’t understand what they’re trying to do for the young man,” Mamea said. “I don’t think it hurts what we do for advocacy. It’s all about the feeling of competition, of camaraderie, of getting in to play. There is no substitute for that.”

Anderson said it was never about scoring or slowing down the game for him. Rather, it was just to wear the No. 41 Holy Angels jersey. Seeking to eventually be a role model for others with cerebral palsy, he hoped his moment on the court would be interpreted as a message that anything can be achieved.

Read this and watch the video. I defy you to come up with a good reason why it’s a move that needed defending.