Special needs student sinks three-point shot
NEWTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A game changer on the court at Newton North High school sent the stands into an uproar. A special needs senior playing in his first game on senior night made a three-point shot.
It was a shot that brought the crowd to its feet.
On Friday, Ryan Gallagher was still basking in the glow of hitting a three pointer for Newton North High in a big game against Norwood.
“I could feel the whole entire building shaking…I mean, under me, the floor was just rumbling,” said Ryan Gallagher. “It was the best feeling in my life. My only varsity game, and it’s senior night and I just banked the first shot as I got in.”
Ryan, a 17-year-old special needs student, has been the team manager for four years. But on senior night, the coach decided to honor Ryan by giving him some playing time.
“For me, it was a very, very proud moment as a coach. But working in the school, it really speaks volumes of number one, Ryan. He’s got a really infectious personality,” said Paul Connolly, Newton North head basketball coach.
Students who were there say it was a big moment for the school.
“Ryan has always been a part of this community and he’s just one of the most upbeat guys you can find. So, for us to see him make that shot was really great,” said Jonathan Kim, a student.
The next day, students circulated posters capturing the emotional moment when the team carried Ryan off the court.
“I can’t put it into words. I really can’t; I’m so proud of him. And I’m so proud of everyone here at Newton North,” said Peggy Gallagher, Ryan’s mother.
Ryan is thankful he made the shot. But even if he hadn't, he says just being out on the court with his teammates was still the greatest experience of his life.