MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mason Doherty is not a starter on his high school basketball team, but every time he knocks down a “three,” the crowd goes wild.
That’s because Mason, a senior at St. Peter High School, has Down syndrome — and his touch beyond the arc is something to admire.
“This is what he does. He shoots the threes, but he’s always shot the threes,” Mason’s mom, Laura, said.
To people who’ve never seen Mason take a shot, watching him hit from downtown is motivating and inspiring.
“It’s overwhelming sometimes to see the support, and everybody rallies for him,” Laura said.
But to those who know him best, it’s not surprising.
“At practice, all he does is run straight to the three-point line. It’s every day,” Josh Johnson, Mason’s teammate, said.
In the beginning of the year, Mason’s coach and teammates decided he wouldn’t just be on varsity – he would play. It was a decision they wouldn’t regret.
“Amazing. It’s a great experience for every single one of these players on our team,” Josh said.
Last Friday during a tournament in Fargo, Mason entered the game late.
“The part that brings me so much joy is watching the gym explode,” Mason’s dad, Darin, said.
He hit not one, but two three-pointers — sending the gymnasium into a frenzy.
“It brings a tear to our eyes every single time you see his teammates flying off the bench. The other team is flying off the bench, and everyone in the stands is on their feet,” Darin said.
He’s done it in other games, too. For Mason, sports are great, but being a part of a team is a real slam dunk.
“I like basketball because I like to hang out with my friends,” Mason said.
These friends aren’t just good players; they’re good teammates.
“They give up their precious time to get him the ball, to let him shine,” Darin said.
Mason said he watched a lot of Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry to master his three-point shot.