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Posted: February 10, 2018

California prep basketball player with Down syndrome scores first basket

Basketball is a passion for a high school player with Down syndrome.
Jason O'Brien/Getty Images
Basketball is a passion for a high school player with Down syndrome.

By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

REEDLEY, Calif. —

A California teenager with Down syndrome had a memorable senior night, scoring his first career basket in his first appearance in a game, KMPH reported.

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Jack Welsh was introduced last on Feb. 8 as Reedley High School honored its seniors.

“The heart and soul of Reedley,” Pirates football coach Brandon Nagle said. "That would explain Jack right there."

When the game began, Welsh posted up and connected for a basket, prompting the student section to rush the court to congratulate him, KMPH reported.

“You want to cry," said Jack's father, John Welsh. “You know, we didn't know anything about it, so, it really took us by surprise.”

For three years, Jack Welsh has been a part of the Reedley basketball, football and baseball teams, Basketball coach Travis Ferrell said inserting Welsh into the lineup was a great way to celebrate his high school career.

“He comes to all of our practices. He brings energy that sometimes our players don't bring, and we feed off of him,” Ferrell told KMPH. “So to me, it was the least we could do to have this type of celebration on senior night.”

“To see the joy in his face and to experience what all these boys have experienced for four years -- he's like any other boy," John Welsh told KMPH. “He wants to participate.”

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