The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly looking to deal some of their best players away at the upcoming trade deadline so they can build for the future. Their latest “free agent” signing won’t make an impact on the franchise’s win-loss record, but it will make an impact on a teenager’s life. Kevin Grow, a high school basketball team manager with down syndrome, received an honorary two day contract from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Grow made headlines recently when a video of him playing in his first, and last, high school basketball game surfaced. He has spent the last four years as team manager for the Bensalem High School boy’s basketball team. In order to honor the young man with a big heart, head coach John Mullin decided to suit him up for the last two games. He put him in for the last two minutes of the final game of the season and the rest was magical.
Even Kevin couldn’t believe what happened. When interviewed by the local ABC news affiliate, they showed Kevin the video. His response? “It’s terrific. I hit a buzzer beater and it was party time in the locker room.”
Kevin’s parents were just as ecstatic about the opportunity. “It’s special because when you have a child with a disability, you want him to have these special moments,” his father Earl Grow said.
It wasn’t long before the nearby Philadelphia 76ers caught wind of the story. Monday evening, the team signed him to an honorary two day contract at their practice facility. The entire Grow family was their to watch Kevin actually put his name on the dotted line. Not only does he get a piece of paper, but Kevin will suit up with the 76ers for their next two games. Look for him on the sidelines of the Philadelphia game Tuesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It wasn’t all for show either. Head Coach Brett Brown welcomed the young man with down syndrome by giving him a little interview.
Brown: “Can you play defense?”
Kevin: “I can play defense, yes.”
Brown: “I know you can shoot, but you can play defense too?”
Brown: “I say we give him a three-day contract.”
It was with tears that Kevin’s father Earl reflected on the experience with the Philadelphia 76ers. Children with down syndrome are given a wide range of prognosis when it comes to length of life and quality of life. It truly is an unknown factor for any family that has a son or daughter with down syndrome.
“This doesn’t happen five years ago. I don’t think so. To see everyone share in the moment, it stirs your emotions,” Earl Grow said.
Congratulations to the Philadelphia 76ers, they may have gotten the better end of the deal in this contract signing.