On senior night, it was a night Jack Welsh will soon never forget.
The Reedley High boys basketball team manager had never played a game for the Pirates until Thursday.
The senior, who has Down syndrome, scored the first basket of the game against Fresno, making the shot from the free throw line much to the delight of his Reedley teammates.
That’s not all. He scored the game’s last basket to finish with four points.
After he scored the game’s first point, the students rushed the court to celebrate with Welsh.
“It was a great moment,” Reedley coach Travis Ferrell said. “To see Jack’s reaction when he scored was awesome, but the excitement that followed when his friends and teammates celebrated with him made me feel very blessed to be a part of his life.”
Ferrell said he asked Fresno coach Carvell Wafer if the Warriors would help make the moment happen. Wafer said yes.
“Jack has been a major part of Reedley High School,” Ferrell said. “From being homecoming king to being at every football, basketball, and baseball game – his presence is felt in a very positive way in our community.”
NORTH YOSEMITE LEAGUE
Fresno 72, Reedley 44
Fresno: Brandon Walker 12, Joseph Mijangos 3, Sergio Elenes 10, Avery Johnson 4, Anthony Soto 8, Cardan Ford 5, Darnell Naeole 9, Michael Roberts 6, Jose Villata 10, Keanu Holliman 5.
Reedley: Roger Ortiz 3, Anthony Figueroa 2, Tairo Aguilar 6, Jordan Chavez 2, Israel Vildosola 4, Augie Villareal 3, Jack Welsh 4, Daniel Cortez 10, Leo Hernandez 2, Florian Stasch 8.