Magical Moment For Marion Teen & Fans at State Tournament [WATCH]
He's been part of the Marion boys basketball program for four years, but today is one J.D. Grawe will remember forever.
Grawe, who's on the autism spectrum, was inserted into the Marion lineup with just seconds remaining. The Indians were taking on Cedar Rapids Xavier, and Marion was down nine. Grawe took the ball to the basket and got four shots in that six seconds. The final one went through the net to an eruption from the crowd. Emotion followed for J.D., and many others inside Wells Fargo Arena.
The sportsmanship displayed by Cedar Rapids Xavier shouldn't be overlooked either. It was a magical moment for J.D., a senior. He told the Des Moines Register,
Marion basketball has meant so much to me. I can’t even describe the words of what it means to me. It’s something I’m going to take and tell my kids about one day.
This program shows that anybody can do anything. It doesn't matter what you are or what you associate with. You can do anything that you set your mind to.
Marion has been so much more than just basketball for J.D. He was enrolled in preschool at Marion and his grandma and adopted mother, Sheri Grawe, gives the special education teachers credit for teaching him to talk and learn life skills. She described the onset of his symptoms to the Marion Times:
J.D.'s autism didn't show up until he was about two-and-a-half. He stopped talking, eating and his potty training. No eye contact. Little by little he withdrew.
(Those teachers) had to work on behavorial strategies. Autism cases are all different. What works for one child may not work for another.
J.D. lived with his grandparents, Sheri and Glenn Grawe, from a very early age. He was officially adopted in the summer of 2009 but Glenn was killed in an automobile crash months later. In 2010, J.D. described his grandpa this way,
He had a big heart. I miss him. He took me to the Kernels games and to Chuck E. Cheese, sometimes a couple of times a week. We were best buddies.
You know Glenn and his buddies were watching today and I bet there wasn't a dry eye in the place. Congratulations, J.D., and thank you for reminding us it isn't always about winning.