NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senior Robert Lewis played his first basketball game last Friday for Franklin Road Academy, but has been the team manager for three years.
When he finally made it into the game on senior night and Robert was passed the ball where he made the game winning 3-point shot!
Lewis is a member of the Heart to Heart program at FRA where students with Down Syndrome have been integrated into the classroom.
Panthers’ coach John Pierce put Lewis in late in the fourth quarter, and Lewis immediately air-balled a 3-point attempt. The next possession, he hit a 3-pointer with just five seconds remaining. The Panthers won 64-47.
“It was one of the biggest moments that I’ve ever seen or been a part of,” Pierce said. “Robert is such a big part of our school, and everyone loves Robert and Robert loves everyone, so to see him get to get on the court and do something like that was pretty exciting for everyone.”
“When the ball was in the air I thought I was going to miss or make, I didn’t know which, but when it went down I was so happy that I made it,” Lewis said. “I just loved that moment right there.”
Robert’s night was truly a special evening for his entire family as his younger brother and a junior at USN, Matthew was a guard for the other team.
“I was really happy that he was in the game when I made that shot,” Robert said.
“It was kind of a classy thing for USN to do,” Pierce said. “When they saw Robert going into the game, they put his brother in so Matthew was actually guarding Robert the last few possessions and when he hit the shot.”
Robert’s mother, Judy Lewis said,
“When Robert got put in the game and (USN) coach Mike Jones put Matthew in the game at the same moment, I was really moved. For these very close brothers to be able to share that moment was priceless. It was just sheer joy.”
At the end of the game, students rushed to court hoisting Robert into the air.
“I was so happy when they picked me up,” Robert said. “From my scene when I got picked up, every person I could see had tears of joy in their eyes and I love that moment. I love FRA. I just love that school so much.”
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