My 15-year-old son was on a community basketball team along with many other boys his age. On this team of teenage boys was one special needs boy the team all loved. This boy had a signature spot where he would go stand and the team would pass him the ball then he would shoot and make it much of the time. They rotated him in along with the other boys and he always participated.
There was one game in particular that really touched me. The opposite team was behind and our star special needs player was rotated in. He was given the ball and missed. The other team gained position of the ball and as the players ran to the opposite hoop our star player stayed in his designated spot.
The opposing player with the ball and our star were the only ones on our side of the court when the opposing player passed the star the ball. His grin was huge and he shot and missed again, the opposing player grabbed the ball and passed it back over and over again, until the ref interrupted and forced the opposing player to resume play with his team.
Our star and the opposing player patted shoulders and continued to play. I will forever love that teenage boy for his compassion and good sportsmanship even when his team was down points. Too many teenagers get a bad rap (sometimes deserved) but there is greatness that these youth hold and I will cherish this young man's example of that.