Franklin Road Academy senior Robert Lewis led his high school basketball team to victory Friday night with a 3-point shot that won him the admiration of teammates and opposing players alike.
Lewis, who has Down syndrome, is a manager for the boys team at Franklin Road Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, according to Style Blueprint. On Feb. 1, FRA’s varsity basketball coach, John Pierce, told Robert that he wanted him to suit up for the senior night game against the University School of Nashville — the team for whom Robert’s younger brother, Matthew Lewis, plays. The senior was reportedly ecstatic at the opportunity to support his team. But no one knew if he would actually get to play.
With 90 seconds left in the game and a comfortable lead for FRA, Pierce told Robert to take the court, and USN’s coach sent Matthew to guard his brother as he played, WTVF-TV reported. Video footage of the game showed Matthew allowing his brother to have plenty of room as he encouraged Robert to shoot. Although he missed his first shot, Robert surprised everyone present with a 3-point shot with 5 seconds left in the game. The spectators began to clap and cheer as Robert’s teammates and the opposing players rushed the court to hoist him into the air.
“I just loved that moment when everybody was so happy for me,” Robert told WTVF.
Robert is also a member of FRA’s Heart to Heart program that encourages students with Down syndrome to integrate into the classrooms and other school activities, WTVF noted. Both FRA and USN players were thrilled to witness Robert’s stunning shot, and Matthew, who was wearing the number 42, can be seen congratulating his brother on his victory.
“I’ve just never seen so much love in one gym in my life,” said Judy Lewis, Robert and Matthew’s mother.
FRA ultimately beat USN 64-47.
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