BIG TIMBER — A student’s senior year of high school is always memorable, but Adrian Heath’s is now unforgettable. On Senior night — Feb. 11 — his dreams came true.
For the first time, the special needs student got to suit up for a varsity game, and with just 14 seconds left he checked in. Heath immediately got the ball, shot a 3-pointer and missed. So he tried again, and missed again.
And then it happened. Just as the buzzer sounded Heath proved the third time’s the charm as a Manhattan player handed Big Timber the ball and Heath buried a 3-pointer that couldn’t have been more storybook.
“Happy. My heart was racing for it," Heath said.
Is that something he had always dreamed of? “Yes," said Heath.
It was a moment his coach says was pretty special.
“It couldn’t have been scripted hardly any better. He missed the first two shots, so they got the rebound and sent it back to him. He shot the last one and of course the buzzer goes off, the lights go off, and it bounced up and went back in," Big Timber head coach Dan Smart said.
Smart had ideas of the plan late in the season to reward Heath for making it through the entire season. Smart has a special needs son of his own, so it was a proud moment for the Herders’ head man.
“It’s really good. It speaks to the character of the kids and how they treat everybody," said Smart.
You can see the joy on Heath’s face when he’s in the gym with his teammates, who he’s become quite close with during his later years in high school.
“I’ll remember making baskets. They treat me nicely on the team. They treat me with respect,” he said.
“For something like that to happen to him, I just think he’ll remember that forever. Everyone will," said senior Kyler Mehus.