ESPN The Magazine, “Body Issue”: Photos Unveiled
High School to Retire the Historic Jersey of Autistic Manager Jason ‘J-Mac’ McElwain
The inspirational story of Jason “J-Mac” McElwain is one that just keeps on giving.
You already know the first part of J-Mac’s story. Back in 2006, the high-functioning autistic equipment manager of the Greece Athena High School (Rochester, NY) varsity basketball team received an unexpected reward for all his hard work and dedication to the team. On senior night, the last game of the season, coach Jim Johnson told the kid to put on a uniform because he was going to get in the game. Then, with four minutes remaining, J-Mac was subbed in.
That right there would have been a happy enough ending for everyone. But of course, they had to try to get the kid the ball so he could take a shot. So they did, and J-Mac hit a three-pointer. Then another. And another. And another, and another, and another.
When the game ended, McElwain had hit six three-pointers and scored 20 points in just four minutes. The story inspired the world and, even more amazingly, won him an ESPY.
So how in the hell can this possibly get any better?
Seven years later, coach Johnson and Greece Athena High have decided to honor J-Mac, who has served as an assistant to the basketball program since graduation, by retiring his No. 52 jersey.
And considering that the only other jersey the program has ever retired belonged to John Wallace, a guy who went on to play at Syracuse and then the NBA, it’s kind of a big deal—especially to J-Mac.
“He’s pretty pumped, and that’s probably an understatement,” Johnson told USA Today.
In case you need a refresher, here’s another look at J-Mac’s story: