MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - There are some plays for the ages, like that heart-stopping moment back in 1984, when the late Pearl Washington made that incredible three-point shot at the buzzer over Boston College. It's a shot that many won't even make in their lifetime, but in a unified basketball game between F-M and Baldwinsville, one central New York rookie can add this feat to his highlights.
For Johnny Abbott, basketball wasn't just a dream, it was destiny.
"I've always known that that was his #1 obsession, I always wanted him to be a part of a team, but you're always hesitant, going to a regular school team. seeing if the other kids would accept him or not," said Jennifer Abbott, Johnny's mom.
So when the opportunity came to play on a unified team for kids with special needs, it was a slam dunk.
"I get to represent the school and other schools get to know who I am and how good I play," said Johnny Abbott.
But not just a slam dunk, try a buzzer-beater, three-point shot, for the win that Johnny says is the highlight of his life.
But it's the unbreakable bond of a team that Johnny says makes his time on the court truly valuable.
"You know certain kids' names, when they come home from school and they say this kid in my class, now it's like they have a bond. They have something that has given them a name and a value, something that they're doing," said Jennifer.
And knowing sometimes destiny is a choice.
"Some kids might say something different, but you know what, if you set your mind to it, you will go far," said Johnny Abbott.