More than the game: Teen’s awesome basketball shot highlights friendship

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BROOKLYN, Ohio -- It is often said that sports can teach us a lot about life. That is certainly the case on the basketball court at Brooklyn High School.

Brooklyn High School senior Matt Harry and junior Isaiah Upshaw have been almost inseparable since the day Matt volunteered as a student aide in Isaiah's special-needs class.

"From day one, Isaiah recognized me from being on the basketball team and ever since, we've just been friends," Matt said.

Students at Brooklyn High know that if Matt Harry is on the basketball court, he's more than likely looking for his friend, Isaiah, on the perimeter for a 3-point shot. When Matt was named Homecoming King this fall, no one was surprised when Matt gave the crown to Isaiah.

Isaiah tried out for the team last year, but didn't make it. Instead, he served as a team manager, and over the past year, he and Matt worked on the fundamentals of the game.

All of their hard work paid off. Isaiah made the junior varsity team and in last Friday's game against Open Door Christian Academy, Matt was on the sideline as Isaiah made his debut and promptly drained the same 3-point shot that he and Matt had worked on over and over again.

"It felt great. It made you happy? Yeah, it made me happy," said Isaiah.

"That moment was one of the happiest moments of my life, honestly; just to see him have his moment, and run around the gym, jumping into walls, giving people high fives, it was great," said Matt.

The teachers and coaches who have watched Isaiah and Matt work together say the bond they have forged provides lessons that go beyond the basketball court.

"You know a friendship can go a long way and I think this friendship helped Isaiah make the team and it probably helped make Matt a better person too, and I think everybody involved in the story and in the game is a better person because of this," said Ryan Kelber, athletic director.