AUSTIN, Texas - A Bowie High School basketball manager, who has Down's syndrome, is now a bigger star than the players who regularly suit up. He came into the game last week and went deep, twice.
“It felt great, it felt amazing. the student section was going crazy for me,” said Shae O’Reilly, team manager and now school superstar.
O'Reilly is not just the basketball team manager, he's also their hype man. “I hype them up every game day, that's just me being me,” said O’Reilly.
For O'Reilly basketball is in his blood. “I started playing basketball I believe when I was eight years old,” said O’Reilly.
All three of his brothers played on the Bowie team all under the same coach. “He's been around basketball his whole life,” said head boys' basketball coach Celester Collier.
This past summer Coach Collier hatched up a plan to give O'Reilly the shot he's been itching to take for the past three years. “Talked to his brother about it, we both hugged and cried about it at the same time,” said Collier.
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Towards the end of the third quarter against Lake Travis, Collier put O'Reilly in the game. Donning the number 40 jersey, he made his way down the court and the rest is history.
The crowd and his team cheered for O'Reilly as he just made the 3-pointer look easy. “I believed in myself and shot the ball,” said O’Reilly.
His family was proud. “First shot, boom, perfect,” said his mother Susan Trobaugh.
“Tons of joy, it's one of the most joyous moment for a lot of us in our family, just super inspiring,” said his brother Connor O’Reilly.
The game doesn't end there and enters the fourth quarter. “They were calling my name. ‘We want Shae, we want Shae’ Coach looked at me and said go in,” said O’Reilly.
O'Reilly stepped up once again and sinks another 3-pointer. “It shows it wasn't a fluke, the kid can really shoot a basketball,” said Connor.
“He spends countless hours in the gym working on his craft,” said his brother Callaghan O’Reilly.
After hyping up his team all season, O'Reilly said it's a great feeling knowing his team was more than ready to return the favor. “It's cool having the team cheer me on and supporting me to play with them,” said O’Reilly.
While O'Reilly's skills surprised the crowd, his family said they never had any doubt.
Bowie took the win over Lake Travis 86 to 66. O'Reilly is set to support his team in their first playoff game next Tuesday against East Central.