Meet the heart and soul of Kerman High's basketball team - a boy with cerebral palsy

A quick glance up and down the roster at Kerman High will show plenty of playmakers.

But the heart and soul of the Lions team comes from the player at the end of the bench.

"He's always smiling. He's always cheering them on and he's not expecting to get in the games," says coach Tim Hurt.

Jeremy Jones was born with cerebral palsy and hemiplegia, a condition that impairs the right side of his body.

Four years ago, Jeremy made a free throw in his first game playing for the Kerman middle school.

Four years later, he's a part of the varsity team at Kerman High, the defending division four section champs.

"His mother and I were so proud of him just because he made the team just to have that opportunity to be there at Selland Arena in the playoffs with the other guys was just awesome. I can't describe it. It almost brings tears to my eyes," says his father Charles Jones.

Six years ago Charles adopted Jeremy and his brother from China.

While his English is improving, the same could be said for his one-handed jump shot.

Jeremy has played in five games this year and Coach Hurt thinks he's scored in every one.

Jeremy isn't treated any differently by his teammates and coaches say he's quick to banter with the guys.

"Sometimes the assistant coach might not be there but there's Jeremy and I'm looking at him like 'How're you doing Jeremy? I'm good coach. How're you doing coach?' and that thing is just like this is what I'm doing this for. Brings me back to why I started this five, six years ago," says Hurt.

With his senior year coming to a close, Coach Hurt approached Jeremy's dad with a question.

"Are you planning on buying him a jacket? A letterman's jacket? He said 'If he letters' I said 'He's going to letter this year."

Sure enough, Jeremy lettered and now proudly wears his jacket through the halls of Kerman.

"They bond well together. They love each other and they stick out for each other and it's really emotional for his mother and me. They come from a country where if you're in an orphanage it's bad enough but if you have a disability you're shunned so they really didn't know any difference but they've really been accepted here," says Charles.

While there's still a few games to go in his high school career, Jeremy has one word to describe his time as a Lion.

"Perfect."
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