A Nebraska teen with Down syndrome provided one of the coolest moments of 2018 when he hit a backwards half-court shot during halftime of a high school game.
James Meiergard, a senior at West Point-Beemer (West Point, Neb.), suits up for the junior varsity team at the school. He also goes to all the varsity games with his friends. During halftime of last Friday’s game against rival Wisner-Pilger (Wisner, Neb.), Meiergard’s friend Manny Barragan pulled his buddy onto the court. Barragan told the Omaha World-Herald he knew Meiergerd was itching to try his shot.
Meiergerd took his first shot. It didn’t land in the basket, but he kept trying, with the crowd cheering him on. When he sunk the basket after about 10 tries, as you can see from the video below, the crowd erupted.
Meiergard hugged his friend, pumped his arm into the air and ran to the student section, where he was embraced by classmates.
“The kids love him, and it’s great to see how they respond to him,” Matt Hinkel, a teacher at West Point-Beemer and assistant basketball coach, told the World-Herald. “He’s one of them.”
Per the World-Herald, the video of Meiergerd’s backward half-court basket has also drawn attention from the world leader in trick shots – the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Globetrotters have invited Meiergerd to be their guest when they play in Omaha on April 6, according to the World-Herald.
His mom, Karen, told the paper her son is thrilled about the invite, while the shot is something she will never forget.
“It just gives you goose bumps,” she said.