COWETA, Okla. — As amazing stories come out of the NCAA Tournament right now, none of them inspire as much perspective as a Coweta teen who recently got his time to shine on the hardwood.
The 14-year-old is known as Eddie Jett around town, and everyone knows he loves basketball.
"If Eddie was able to, he'd be first string definitely," his mother Skylar Davis says.
However, a rare disorder called 1P36 Chromosomal Deletion Syndrome has kept him from playing on a team.
"It causes a lot of developmental delays; some kids have seizures, feeding disorders, hearing and vision problems, things like that," Davis says.
The deletion is why Eddie is small for his age and unable to raise his hands over his head.
"His doctors said you know he wasn't supposed to walk or talk or eat. He wasn't supposed to make it this long, and Eddie said, 'Watch me... watch me do it.'"
It's that fighting spirit and Eddie's love of basketball that inspired a coach's mission to make his hoop dreams come true. It all unfolded in the Coweta High School gym. It was the final game of the season for Eddie's cousin Landon. As Eddie watched from the stands, his aunt Jessica, who also happens to be a basketball coach, put the plan into motion.
"I talked to the ref, I talked to the people running the show, and I talked to the other coaches on the team," said Jessica Chapin.
They all agreed to add a little extra time on the clock and surprise Eddie with a game-changer. For the first time in his life, he would suit up and play in a real basketball game on a real team.
"It was just so cool to see him come in the jersey. I had no idea what was happening," said Davis.
"It was like he knew he was made for this moment; he just kind of went right into it. There was no hesitation from him. I think it was one of those things he had been waiting for for a long time," said Chapin.
Eddie took the ball with his game face on and went to work. Cousin Landon was assisting along the way.
"I was just trying to help him have as much fun as anyone else on the court," Landon said "He's my best friend, and when he's with me, no one gets us apart."
Sportsmanship and kindness played out under the basket that night. Eddie sharing the spotlight with the ball and others, even the opposing team. That didn't surprise anyone who knows Eddie.
"Everybody is the same in Eddie's eyes; we're all just out here to have fun and encourage each other," said Chapin.
The lesson wasn't about winning or losing at the final buzzer, but of gratitude; what a gift to simply be in the game.
"I ran out there, and he said, 'Mama, I did it!' He just threw his arms around me. He was so proud," Davis said.
Eddie drifted off to sleep that night, still in his uniform and still smiling. A slam dunk of a day for this basketball dreamer who reminds us to give each day our best shot.
"I just saw magic that day, you know? Things we don't see every day, and we need more of that in the world. A lot of positivity and a lot of love," says Davis.
Cell phone video captured this heartwarming story as it unfolded. We'll show it to you TUESDAY on 2 News Oklahoma at 6.