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Mom thanks Lincoln students for “very special” experience

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Jessica Jacome sent an appreciative email to Lincoln Middle School’s administration after a “very special” experience during a middle school basketball district tournament game on March 3. Jacome’s son Jonathan has Down Syndrome, and he has played 3 years on the middle school basketball team at High Springs Community School.

In the closing seconds of High Springs’ loss to Lincoln Middle School, Jonathan entered the game. At that point, the Lincoln cheerleaders started chanting “Let’s go, 25, lets go!” (25 is Jonathan’s number). He attempted a three point shot, but missed. Lincoln player Dylan Strappy got the rebound and passed it back to Jonathan, who then attempted another three pointer and made it. It’s worth watching the video to see his reaction:

Jonathan’s mother says that what happened at Lincoln has been pretty common during the season at middle schools throughout the district where her son has played. This just happened to be his last game with High Springs, and she just happened to catch it on video.

Jacome wrote, “At last week’s basketball game something very special took place. I left in tears because of the joy I felt and the love my son felt… What happened that evening was not expected but flowed flawlessly and that is because two teams came together to make one student feel part of the game. Please let the students know their actions didn’t go unnoticed. As a parent of a child with special needs, one thing we worry about is that our children won’t be given the same opportunities or develop the same friendships and bonds as their peers. I felt the love in the gym that evening, I was proud to live in our community and I was thankful to Lincoln for providing an environment where everyone is included.”