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Middle schooler with Down Syndrome Owen Groesser nails 2 3-pointers in only action of season, lands on SportsCenter

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

When Owen Groesser finally got a chance to suit up for the Rochester Hills (Mich.) Van Hoosen Junior High basketball team, he was thrilled just to sit on the bench. Groesser is an eighth grader at the school and was allowed to be a part of the team, yet failed to get in to any games before his squad’s final matchup.

That’s when Groesser’s coach decided to play him in the school’s seventh grade game. He even drew up a play for the eighth grader, setting him up with the ball deep in three point territory.

The idea was just to give him a chance to shoot. As it turns out, he did much more than that.

As first reported by Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ, Groesser drilled two three-pointers in just two minutes of game time during the team’s final game. After each shot, the packed middle school crowd (hopped up on sugar, perhaps?) went completely nuts.

The delirious scene made for a magical storyline, with Zapruder film-level footage of the events eventually hitting the web and starting a Twitter phenomenon. Across the world, people began tweeting with the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportscenter. Once again, social media worked, with ESPN producers getting wind of the viral trend and featuring one of Groesser’s shots as the top play on Wednesday’s SportsCenter telecasts.

“He’s got a good shot,” Groesser father, Chris Groesser, told the Detroit Free Press. “I wasn’t shocked, but I was definitely thrilled. It was a big day for him. … It was like a movie,” Groesser said. “Like the junior-high Rudy.”

Fittingly, Owen knew full well that he had a good shot.

“Hey, buddy, good shooting,” his dad, Chris, told him after the game.

“I know that, Dad,” he replied.

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