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BEING SPECIAL — Look around you.
There are a lot of special people in your life. Did you see one? Two? Certainly, there are several.
Sports has special people, too.
This week, we’re highlighting a few of those special people — from a Special Olympian on the basketball court, to a special long snapper out to raise money for a dreaded disease that changed his outlook on life, to a punter who is doing things not normally associated with punters.
As always, click the video above for all of the Great Clips of the Week.
Special Olympics, special shot
It wasn’t a game winner, nor was it even necessary.
But when the United States beat Canada 35-18 in the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, we couldn’t help but cheer “U-S-A” for Matt Millett.
With a 14-point lead, Millett ripped a shot from the other side of the court — near the free-throw line — and didn’t bank in his full-court fling.
He swished it. Nothing but net.
Half court buzzer beater to end the game by @specialolyUSA's Matt Millett! #SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10#SCTop10pic.twitter.com/h3MQJJJsAQ— Special Olympics (@SpecialOlympics) March 19, 2019
Eat your heart out, Steph Curry and James Harden.
We’re giving Millett the award for Shot of the Year.
Blind bench press
If you haven’t heard of the story of Jake Olson, go Google it right now.
Cancer took his sight when he was just 12 years old, but it didn’t take his dream of playing college football.
Olson walked on at Southern California and eventually became the Trojans’ starting long snapper by his senior year.
Now he’s an NFL draft prospect, and he put up 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at USC’s pro day.
It gets better: Olson did the challenge for charity, earning $56,000 for retinoblastoma research — the same rare cancer that took his sight.
Punters are power lifters, too
Olson wasn’t the only special teams ace to put on a show at pro day.
Notre Dame punter Tyler Newsome got in on the fun, and he may have turned some scouts’ heads during the Fighting Irish’s pro day in South Bend, Indiana.
That’s when Newsome put up 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press last Wednesday, a feat exceeded by only 12 people at the official NFL scouting combine.
By the way, 11 of those players with better marks are offensive or defensive linemen.
Newsome averaged 44.7 yards per kick in 2018, placing 19 of his 53 punts inside the 20-yard line with nine touchbacks. Four teams selected a punter in the 2018 NFL draft, which was the most since 1999. But with performances like this, Newsome could find himself as another addition.