Santa Cruz boys basketball team manager Jerry Skolnik has a huge legion of fans in Northern California. His popularity is all about his personality and enthusiasm, all of which is expressed purely non-verbally.
That’s by necessity; As reported by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Skolnik has an intellectual and developmental disorder that makes it impossible for him to speak. His gesticulations make up for the lack of speech, and he always gets his points across, to teammates, fans and anyone who has had the pleasure to know him. On Wednesday night he got the most fitting and authentic honor possible, connecting on the final shot of the game in a 77-43 rout of Harbor High.
You can see video of the final shot below.
It was the final shot of the game, and the only shot Skolnik took throughout the contest. He was perfect from the field and is likely to finish his career that way.
“He’s probably the only kid who will go through life and be 100 percent from the field,” Harbor coach Robert Shipstead told the Sentinel.
“If it was a one-point game, we would’ve done the same thing, because it’s about (Jerry). …. Both benches were standing up, all the coaches. It’s a good thing for the kids. You want to give back. That’s why we coach, we want to give back. And this teaches a good lesson about giving back, ways you can give back where it doesn’t cost money, you know? And he was one-for-one, which was beautiful. A really cool thing.”
That assessment is impossible to argue with. That Skolnik’s big night came in a win is just a nice cherry on top for a well deserving and dedicated teen.