8th grader with Down Syndrome lands two 3-pointers first game


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ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. — It was the last game of the season for the eighth-grade basketball team at Van Hoosen Junior High School. With only a few minutes left in the game, the coach called in Owen Groesser.

Groesser, who has Down Syndrome, had not played a minute all season for the Vikings. But in just two minutes of play, he completely took the sports world by storm.

The coach had designed a play specifically for Groesser where he could either lay up or take a shot at the three-point line.

Groesser caught a pass and decided to shoot, dribbled once and then absolutely nailed a three pointer. Those who saw the utterly precise shot erupted with cheers.

Only a minute later, he took another pass and landed yet another beautiful three-point shot, again to thunderous applause.

Such was the crowd's amazement that a Twitter campaign immediately took hold using the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportsCenter.

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Indeed, his shot was featured as number one of the top ten shots on Wednesday's Sports Center, and he and his father were featured on the show Thursday night.

"There was such a tweet explosion," Groesser's father told the Detroit Free Press. "It was crazy."

Owen scored another two points during his next game, as well.

"He's got a good shot," Groesser's father said. "I wasn't shocked, but I was definitely thrilled. It was a big day for him."

Groesser serves as the basketball team manager, but has also played football and wrestled.

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David Self Newlin

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