Nebraska Student Shows Harlem Globetrotters How To Shoot

Making a half-court basketball shot is no small feat.

When James Meirgerd, an 18 year-old Nebraska high school student with Down syndrome, made his shot it was at halftime of a varsity game, someone captured it on film. And you know what happens to a good story in this day and age: it went viral. Drawing national attention, the video was featured on ABC World News Tonight.

That’s a story to remember, but it doesn’t stop there.

Harlem Globetrotters Note Half-Court Basketball Shot

The Harlem Globetrotters organization caught wind of “the shot,” and sent one of their players, Orlando Melendez to invite Meirgerd to be an honorary team member for a game in Nebraska. Some 800 students packed the high school gym for a pep rally featuring the Globetrotters’ Melendez.

After a short presentation, Melendez invited Meiergerd up on the court and said, “Maybe you and I can try to make that shot again. What do you think?”

Meiergerd was game and took his place at half-court. As you can see from the video, Meiergerd shoots with his back to the basket to generate enough power to get the shot to the rim. After several missed shots, a shot hit the backboard and fell right through the net.

Meiergerd had done it again! The West Points-Beemer High students went crazy.

A Team Player

Meiergerd, who is 18 years old, suits up for JV games, but always makes it a point to attend the varsity games as well. Both teams seem to rally around Meiergerd whose infectious spirit is contagious.

No word yet if the Globetrotters are looking to make Meiergerd a permanant addition to the team. Folks who can make half-court shots in front of big audiences are rare, and Meiergerd has done it twice now.

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Editor’s Note: Nine years ago today, Sports Feel Good Stories launched. The first story featured Jason McElwain. McElwain, a 17 year-old student from upstate New York with Autism, played in his only varsity basketball. With four minutes to go in the game, McElwain entered, and before you knew it, scored 20 points including six three-pointers.

That performance was the genesis for the Sports Feel Good Stories site to be created. So, nine years later, it’s fitting that the feature story of the day showcases another basketball player completing an incredible feat. And, as before, these types of feel-good stories still put smiles on peoples’ faces.