Friday, September 28, 2007

Larry King

Here is a transcript from Larry King Which talks about children with Autism.

I feel it is a good read and who knows it might be able to help people.

Jason McElwain from the above clip.

Jason McElwain (born October 1, 1987), informally nicknamed J-Mac, is an autistic American teenager who graduated from Greece Athena High School in Greece, a suburb of Rochester, New York, USA, in 2006. He is noted for scoring twenty points in four minutes during a high school basketball game on February 16, 2006. The game was the last home game of the 2005-2006 season for Greece Athena.

McElwain had never made the team because of his height (5'6" (167 cm)) and his skill at the time, but his love and passion for basketball led him to stay with the team as their manager. Proud of his dedication, coach Jim Johnson felt that it would be a fitting show of gratitude to put McElwain in the final home game of the 2005-2006 season, as long as the team was ahead by several points. Greece Athena had a comfortable lead late in the game against the Spencerport High School Rangers, the coach put McElwain in the game. His appearance on the court elicited a loud cheer from the supportive home crowd.

McElwain's first three-point attempt was an airball; followed by a missed layup. However, within a four minute period at the end of the game, McElwain seemingly entered "The Zone", redeeming himself in spectacular fashion by scoring one two-pointer and six three-pointers. His last three-pointer was the final shot of the game, and as the final buzzer sounded, the crowd erupted with wild jubilation, stormed the court, and swarmed around him as his teammates lifted him up onto their shoulders. The moment was captured on the team's camcorder (taped by a student), still photographs by freelance photojournalist Eric Sucar,[1] and reached a national audience over the following days.

McElwain's achievement was immediately noticed locally and was a popular story in local media the next day. A few days after the game, media outlets beyond the local area began taking notice, and the story has spread quickly since then. (The CBS Evening News aired a story about McElwain the Thursday after the game; they received so many requests to re-air the story that they re-broadcast it on the show the next evening.) McElwain, Johnson, and others have received continual interview requests and numerous requests for development rights to the story.

The team experienced this media attention as the regular season ended and they prepared for the postseason, but McElwain continued to encourage them with his mantra: "Stay Focused". Greece Athena ended up winning the Class AA championship for Section V (the Rochester area), but lost the qualifying game against Class AAA Fairport High School to move into the state tournament.

McElwain also met with President George W. Bush on March 14, 2006 when the President came to Canandaigua, New York. McElwain greeted President Bush off Air Force One at the Rochester airport, and the two spoke with each other and with the media for a short time. President Bush commented that he wept when he saw Jason's performance and then he gave him a bookmark and a presidential tie clip. When parting ways McElwain said to the President, "It was an honor to meet you." whereupon Bush responded, "No, my honor.".[2]

In April 2006, McElwain received the 'Perseverance in Sports Award' at Syracuse University's First Annual Charity Sports Auction.

In April 2006, McElwain reached a deal with Columbia Pictures to produce a film of his life story.[3] Laura Ziskin, who produced the Spider-Man movies, will oversee the project. Two-time Oscar winner Alvin Sargent is slated to write the script.

McElwain appeared as a guest on Oprah on April 25, 2006. The following day, he met with Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who is executive producing the film, during a visit by Johnson to Greece Athena.

On July 12, 2006, ESPN awarded McElwain an ESPY Award in the "Best Sports Moment" category in recognition of his 20-point game. The other nominees for the award had been Dakoda Dowd's LPGA tournament appearance, Kobe Bryant's 81-point game, and the George Mason University men's basketball team's appearance in the NCAA Final Four.

On July 26, 2006, McElwain threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Rochester Red Wings baseball game, where the first 3,000 fans received "J-Mac" bobblehead dolls.

Jason was awarded the Performance of Courage Award on August 20, 2006, at the nationally televised Teen Choice Awards. The award was presented by actor Ashton Kutcher. McElwain ended his acceptance speech shouting "God Bless America" and "The sky's the limit!"

On February 15, 2007, McElwain appeared on The Today Show.

On March 8, 2007, McElwain visited the Victor Junior High School building to promote "Awareness Week" at the school.

On April 5, 2007, McElwain received the Doug Flutie Jr. Award Presented by Doug Flutie and his wife, Laurie at the Annual Autism Update in Waltham, MA Sponsored by The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism and Children Making Strides.

McElwain has an autograph insert in 2007 Topps Baseball Allen and Ginter.

Personal life
Jason currently works at a Wegmans bakery in the Rochester area and lives at his parents' home.

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