Oh boy, you guys. It’s about to get super dusty up in here.
Kevin Durant further proved that he’s one of the greatest guys on the planet – seriously, he can bounce a ball of a woman’s face and she’ll just laugh – when he joined in the Twitter hashtag campaign #DressNathanOut that some students at Owasso High School in Oklahoma started to get some attention for the their basketball team’s manager, Nathan Mitcham. A special needs student, Mitcham also gained fans in Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood and Johnny Manziel, who all Tweeted the hashtag to help get Mitcham in this past Tuesday’s game against Sand Springs High School.
Based on the outpouring of support and the amazing stories in the aftermath, I don’t think that Mitcham’s playing time was ever in question, but he nevertheless received his coach’s permission to play, and he took the court for the final 3 minutes in Owasso’s 20-point victory that night. And not only did he close out the game, but he also scored 8 points as 2,000 people in a 1,400-capacity arena cheered him on.
God, I love sports so much sometimes.
Mitcham almost didn’t even get to play, because the game was close for the most part. On top of that, Owasso is in the thick of a playoff hunt, so they didn’t have much wiggle room in trading postseason chances for goosebumps, but everything evidently worked out. Mitcham also put the cherry on top with a perfect entrance.
With five minutes left, a chant went up, “Put Nathan in!” At the 4:20 mark, another rose, louder: “NA-THAN! NA-THAN!”
When he stood up with 3:30 to play, the emotional dam burst.
Wearing his special Nike Zoom KD V shoes – a size 11, Thunder-blue and white gift from Sand Springs, stuffed in an orange Nike box signed by dozens of Sandites players and fans (Caleb Smith wrote, “If they don’t fit, call me and we can fix that! PS, Get Buckets!”) – Nathan launched a 3 from the left corner that just caught the rim. It was rebounded by John Cole Neph, who kicked it back out to Nathan at the top of the key.
He dribbled, twirled, stepped to the left elbow of the free throw line and elevated. His right leg kicked out, his left hand dropped, but the shot went through.
“I didn’t know he had that in his game,” Lowe said. “Nate’s a baller, man. He’s a baller.” (Via Tulsa World)
Now I feel bad about making that Oklahoma joke earlier.