Metro-East News

This Illinois senior with Down syndrome was the team manager. Then he got his big shot.

Jimmy Peterlich 3-pointer

Jimmy Peterlich sinks a 3-pointer for Charleston Trojans. Jimmy, a senior who has Down syndrome, previously served as the team manager. The lefty got to suit up Friday night and thrilled the crowd with this shot from downtown.
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Jimmy Peterlich sinks a 3-pointer for Charleston Trojans. Jimmy, a senior who has Down syndrome, previously served as the team manager. The lefty got to suit up Friday night and thrilled the crowd with this shot from downtown.

Wow, here's one of those stories that warms your heart and ends up on ESPN. It happened Friday night at Charleston High School, where senior Jimmy Peterlich — who has Down syndrome and previously served as the team manager — got a chance to suit up and maybe even fulfill his dream of draining a three-pointer.

Here's Charleston Times-Courier correspondent JJ Bullock's account of how it unfolded:

He came out on the court to a chorus of "we want Jimmy!" being chanted from the student section and did just what he intended to do. He took a pass from guard Darrell Phillips and drained a 3-pointer.

When the ball found the bottom of the net, Baker Gymnasium erupted and broke into another chant, this time saying in unison "Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!"

Jimmy Peterlich
A photo by Kevin Kilhoffer shows a triumphant Jimmy Peterlich, left, smiling as he's congratulated by teammates after making a 3-point shot as Charleston played Mount Zion at Charleston High School on Friday. KEVIN KILHOFFER Herald & Review News Service

Peterlich went down the other side of the court pumping his fist and jumping around in celebration of his made shot.

It was his moment on senior night and that is just what Charleston High School intended to make of it; they had created a moment for a kid that had given so much of his time to the team.

He was subbed out of the game and gave Charleston head coach Blain Mayhall a hug. Everything went perfectly to plan for the team in Peterlich's moment.

Go read the rest of the story in the Times-Courier to find out what Peterlich had to say after he and his Trojan teammates defeated Mt. Zion 71-56 on Senior Night.

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