Jason McElwain, well-known as J-Mac among friends and fans, was born on October 1, 1987, as a younger son in his family. With only two years old, Jason was diagnosed with autism and started showing various symptoms. He was assigned to the school for kids with special needs and struggled with social interaction. In every other way, Jason lived a common life and was unknown to the public completely. His autism is rated as highly functional nowadays, and his family provided enormous support to Jason to adjust his specific manners of living with the common life and community around him. Occasionally during childhood years, his older brother was introducing him to the world of basketball. It is exactly what made all the difference and brought Jason straight to the spotlight in February 2006.
Four minutes that changed Jason’s life
During the High School days, Jason continued training basketball, dedicated his huge passion into it and became, at some moment, the manager of the Greece Athena High School basketball team. The basketball game during his senior year between Greece Athena and Spencerport High School brought a change for a lifetime to Jason. Four minutes before the final buzzer sound, Jason’s coach threw him a jersey and a chance to feel the game at the field at the moment when his team has a steady lead. The whole issue of self-esteem and the reputation of disabled guy and the actual issues the illness imposes have probably taken their toll when Jason missed first two shot.
However, it’s probably due to amazing inner strength and passion and continuous patient training what happened next. During only four minutes, Jason scored six three-pointers and added one deep jump to sum it all to a total of 20 points in only a few minutes. The new school record was set, and the crowd was wowed. The cameras and the spotlights were focused onto Jason, the audience was amazed and the whole moment brought waves of emotions and admiration. Jason became significant name and face during only four minutes of his impressive performance.
The effects in the long run
These four famous minutes in Jason’s life brought him the ESPY Best Moment in Sports Awards, dozens of interviews, TV shows and the significant attention from State’s officials. But the most important benefit was given chance to raise awareness regarding autism itself and all the people around living and to struggle with this illness. His amazing life story inspired Iron Butter to dedicate a song to Jason and the Columbia Pictures based a movie on Jason’s life story.
Becoming a role model
Aside from playing basketball for years, Jason is also accomplished marathon runner who completed Boston Marathon recently and keeps running. The publicity he got was used to inspire young boys training basketball, whole autistic community, as well as all the people struggling with some health issue to keep their heads high, push the best they can and never let their physical issue handicaps their lives fundamentally.