Girl with Down Syndrome scores in basketball game
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NBC) -- An elementary school basketball player with Down syndrome was the star of a recent game when she scored a basket with the help and cooperation of both teams.
The video of Abigail Kidd, from New Prospect Elementary in Lawrenceburg, has had thousands of views online and has brought tears to the eyes of many who watched the determination and sportsmanship on display.
Abigail was always an underdog. With special needs and countless other health problems, she was born with no heart valves or walls. So, at just 5 months old, she underwent open heart surgery and doctors said she would never live to be 1.
But, 12 years later, her heart beats strong and she is an unlikely member of the New Prospect Lady Tigers basketball team.
When the time came for the team's first game of the year, many thought, surely, Abigail wouldn't get in.
"We showed at the ball game, and we thought she would shoot some in warm-ups and then sit on the bench. She was just so excited to get a uniform and be on the team and drink a little Gatorade," said her father, Tommy Lee Kidd.
But, then, coach Katie Busby walked down the bench and told Abigail it was time for her to play, too.
Before long, there was a chain reaction as Abigail grabbed the ball and ran. The referees ignored the rules, and the opposing team - a good team in a close game - stopped guarding and started cheering.
"I look up and she's coming down the court toward me, and on both sides, everybody in the gym is on their feet," Busby said.
Six persistent shots later, Abigail shot the ball through the hoop and got a hug from the opposing team's best player.
"I stopped to help her, because I think everybody needs a chance," said that opponent, Madison Wheeley, from Ethridge Elementary School.
Nothing was planned and no one knew what was going to happen, but everyone knew it was the right thing to do, because everyone needs a chance.
"God doesn't make mistakes, and we saw that display of amazing grace on the basketball floor," Tommy Lee Kidd said.