Viral Video: Crowd Erupts After Harrah Special Needs Athlete Hits Jumper
HARRAH, Oklahoma - Video of a special needs athlete in Harrah is going viral on social media.
Jaden Barnes, 16, who has Down syndrome, is the team manager and number one fan of the Harrah Panthers.
Over the weekend, Jaden got a chance to play in his first ever game with the varsity squad. The coach put him into the starting the line-up, so he could run though a line of cheerleaders and teammates and hear his name called.
Seconds after the tip-off between Harrah and Bethel High School, a Panthers’ teammate passed Jaden the ball around the free throw line. Jaden didn’t hesitate and immediately took a shot.
The crowd erupted when Jaden’s first attempt hit nothing but net.
“We haven’t heard the gym that loud all season,” says Panther Coach Chad Rochelle.
Jaden said “yes” and smiled when we asked if knew it was going in right after he shot the ball.
Jaden loves basketball and also plays it through the school’s Special Olympics Program.
But his family is so thankful for Harrah’s teammates which have treated him like family in his two years of high school.
"It allowed him to the get the chance to participate with the boys he hangs out with every day and be part of a team, It's amazing,” says Jaden’s Dad Jeff Barnes.
Harrah ended up winning the game, and plays again Tuesday night.
Jaden plans to be the loudest supporter from the bench.