A boy with cerebral palsy was able to make his dream of scoring a basket come true, thanks to his friends and teachers lifting him out of his wheelchair and up toward the net.
Tristan Garcia, 14, had always wanted to make a shot on a full-sized court, but because of his condition he’d never been able to throw the ball powerfully enough to reach the hoop.
But on May 23 staff and friends at Harris Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, decided it was time to change that, as they brought a stunned Tristan out onto the school’s court with all eyes watching.
With a crowd of people chanting Tristan’s name, the student missed the first few shots from in his chair – and so kind volunteers decided to step in to offer a helping hand.
In the heartwarming footage, Tristan was hoisted into the air and able to make a successful shot on his second attempt, causing the gym to erupt into cheers.
According to Tristan’s mother Veronica Romayor, the moment came about thanks to the help of Tristan’s teacher, Ms. Castillo, who knew of the youngster’s love of basketball and dream of making a shot on a full-size court.
Knowing there was a “Teachers vs. Students” game to round off the school year, Ms. Castillo thought it would be the perfect time to work with the school’s staff on a surprise and allow Tristan to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Kobe Bryant.
Tristan, who was born as a premature twin at 31 weeks old and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at around 11-months-old, said: “It felt awesome because I never thought that I would ever be able to make a shot on an actual court.
“When I made the shot and everyone started to cheer the feeling was indescribable – I was so excited”
Veronica added: “When I saw the video I was speechless – I couldn’t believe that my son was out of his wheelchair shooting a basketball in midair – tears of joy ran down my face.
“I am so grateful for the teachers and students that came together to help my son accomplish his goal.
“I hope that people realize that when we come together, we can help make a difference in someone’s life.
“Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to dream big; it just means that you may have to do things differently.
“All dreams are reachable.”
(Story courtesy of T&T Creative Media)