Student Well-Being

State H.S. Basketball Championship Ends With Bucket by Student With Autism

By Bryan Toporek — March 14, 2014 1 min read

How do both teams in a state championship basketball game end up winners? By putting box scores aside and letting sportsmanship reign supreme.

Trinity Classical Academy (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Desert Chapel High School (Palm Springs, Calif.) clashed this past weekend in a sectional high school basketball state championship. With 59 seconds left in the game, the Trinity Classical Knights had opened a 23-point lead, eliminating any chance of a comeback by the Desert Chapel Eagles.

That’s when Knights coach John Brooks subbed in 5'6" freshman Beau Howell, who hadn’t scored in any of the nine games he played this season. As it turns out, the 10th time was the charm.

Beau’s teammates quickly got him the ball at the free-throw line, where he fired up a jumper that didn’t fall. After snagging the rebound, one of his teammates passed right back to the wide-open Beau, who again shot from the charity stripe but couldn’t convert. Desert Chapel secured the rebound this time and quickly called a timeout.

Had the game ended there, the Knights would have already been winners for allowing Beau to take a few shots. They didn’t stop there, though.


After inbounding the ball, they deliberately allowed Beau to steal it (the first steal of his career,

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.