Special-needs Kerman basketball player stuns crowd during his first game

KERMAN, Calif. (KFSN) -- An unlikely star on the basketball court emerged at Kerman Middle School. The teen is being celebrated for sinking an amazing shot.

The free throw didn't win the game. But it won cheers from everyone in the gym. And when you see the cellphone video of the play you'll get a glimpse into why this accomplishment was so big for Jeremy Jones.

"He wants to have fun and doesn't want no one to think he's different or anything," said Charlie Jones, the boy's father.

Jeremey is different, though. He has cerebral palsy and can only use one of his arms. The other is his shooting arm and it's all he needs.

Thursday he took the biggest shot of his life, sinking a free throw that sent the entire gym into a huge roar of cheers. It was his first point in his first game ever.

"When I did put him in the game his eyes got pretty big," said Coach Juan Aguayo. "He was going to go in with his shooting shirt on, but it was like no, not in your shooting shirt. The guys were helping him."

Jeremy initially started on the Kerman Middle School basketball team not as a player, but team manager. He kept practicing, kept pushing and kept asking the coach for more.

"It was baby steps," Coach Aguayo said. "He wanted the sweater, then he got the shooting shirt, then he asked for the jersey. He earned it, man."

He was learning to shoot hoops while learning English and a new culture. Jeremy was adopted from China less than two years ago.

Charlie and Toni, his parents, want nothing more than to teach Jeremy he can do anything.

"It had to be one of my proudest moments because just for him to one, get to play and two, make that point and the whole crowd cheering for him," Charlie said.

"We know he could do it. But to be in public and have the confidence that he did and shoot the basket, not be ashamed of his disability, in front of all those people, all that pressure, and he made it," said Toni Jones. "He shot that basket."

Jeremy is still riding on cloud 9 more than 24 hours after sinking the shot. He admits he was nervous, but those nerves are gone now that Jeremy has a taste for his free throw fame.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.