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Team learns lesson of humility, sportsmanship

Members of the Neil Armstrong Middle School 7B basketball team were honored by classmates and school staff last week for their sportsmanship.

Just before spring break, the team was playing its last game of the season at French Prairie Middle School near Woodburn. NAMS coach Justin Fritz had a special request from the coach of the other team: he was going to play a student who had developmental disabilities and wanted the boy to score a basket.

Fritz passed that information to his team members and told them to give the boy, "Mikey" Garcia, an opportunity to score.

"While it was still important to win," NAMS principal Brandon Hundley told those gathered at the assembly, "this group of young men did something a little bit different."

With the help and encouragement of student athlete Tanner Mannen, Garcia took four shots and made the basket.

"He was extremely happy," Mannen said. "I thought he was a kid who deserved a chance."

Mannen's act of kindness and patience appears on YouTube and can be found by searching for "Mikey's great basketball shot."

NAMS 7B basketball team members are: Carson Ashton, Sebastian Baca, Blaize Barnes, Tucker Bentley, Jonathan Bickford, Esaias Castaneda Cortez, Juan Gomez Gutierrez, Eduardo Jimenez, Tanner Mannen, Kenn Shinya, Greg Specht, Ryan Thompson, Kurtis VanDyke and team manager Killian Lynch.