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In the News: Jason McElwain
Jason McElwain made the news in Scholastic News Edition 4 on March 27, 2006
By Tiffany Chaparro

Jason McElwain
Greece-Athena manager Jason McElwain, with his fans behind him, fires off another three-point field goal during the fourth quarter of the last home game against Spencerport High on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006, in Greece, New York.
(Photo: Eric Sucar/The Daily Messenger/AP Wide World)
Jason McElwain, a 17-year-old high school student, is the varsity manager for the Greece Athena High School in New York. Known for his team spirit, he can usually be found near the basketball players, handing out water bottles or helping the team run drills before games. However, his moves on the court—in the last minutes of a game—recently grabbed headlines across the country.

McElwain suffers from autism, a brain disorder that affects social interactions and causes learning difficulties and speech problems. As a result of his autism, he did not begin to talk until he was five years old. Despite his struggles, he has never given up, always maintaining a positive attitude. McElwain is well liked in school, and loved by the basketball team.

The team's last home game was a special one for McElwain. With less than five minutes to go, he got to participate in the game—his first and only appearance on the court. McElwain scored an impressive 20 points in those last minutes—six three-pointers and one lay-up. The crowd went crazy for the 5'6" manager! His teammates lifted McElwain on their shoulders and cheered.

"He's been my right-hand man, he's there every day, and just getting him the opportunity to suit up was emotional enough for me," said Jim Johnson, the team's coach. "For him to come in and seize the moment like he did was certainly more than I ever expected. I was an emotional wreck."

Jason McElwain is an inspirational athlete, not only for what he did on the basketball court, but also for the positive example he sets off the court. Film companies are now looking to make a movie about McElwain.