Kevin Grow has gone from longtime manager of his high school basketball team to a member of the Philadelphia 76ers in a matter of weeks.
Born with Down syndrome, Grow has been manager at Bensalem (Pa.) High for the last four years. For the final two games of Grow's senior season earlier this month, Coach John Mullin let him suit up and play in the final two minutes of the games as a way of thanking him for all his hard work.
And that's when the magic started.
Grow scored three points in his first game and 14 points in the finale, including four three-pointers with one coming at the buzzer.
"I hit a buzzer beater and it was party time in the locker room," Grow told WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
President and General Manager Sam Hinkie saw the viral video (above) of Grow's performance and arranged to sign the young 76ers fan to a ceremonial two-day contract Monday morning.
That same day Grow, 18, received a practice jersey, shared a meal with the team and took part in shooting drills. Tuesday night he got his own locker that held his uniform, with the No. 33 jersey, before the team's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
And, of course, he got to socialize with the other players.
"By far, Kevin's favorite team is the Sixers, and he was so excited just to be able to come down here and see practice," his sister, Laura Grow, said. "But to be a part of the team, and when we got downstairs to see all the media there, it was even more of a surprise. This whole thing's just taken a mind of its own, and it's just such a neat experience."
Grow was introduced with the starting lineup before the game, stood with the players during the national anthem and was honored during the second quarter with the rest of his teammate from Bensalem.
“It's good fun to have him around," 76ers center Spencer Hawes said. "For as much bad that comes out of social media, it's good to see stories like that go viral.”
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