Allow me to introduce you to Tee Salinas. He’s a senior at North Oldham High School in Goshen, Kentucky and has been the basketball team’s manager since the 6th grade. Tee is not only a manager and a water boy, but an astounding encouragement and blessing to the entire school. Heck, he was voted ‘Most Likely to Brighten Your Day’! Amidst this greatness, Tee has been dealt a unique hand of cards - he has Down Syndrome.
This past week, the team coach announced that after several years of Tee’s faithful commitment to the basketball team and all NOHS functions, Tee would be playing in his first game - scoring the first two points against De Sales High School. With that announcement came a burst of excitement from the student body, exploding #GetTeeOnSportsCenter into the Twittersphere. The entire school was on board, overflowing to the signs in front of local businesses.
It was then that WHAS caught on to our growing movement. Wednesday night, a segment explaining Tee’s story and his hopes for Friday night was broadcasted. A serious call out to Sports Center at ESPN was made - Tee’s biggest dream was for his shot to be shown on the show. The media exploded: new anchors using our hashtag, more news crews committing to film the game. Then, it was time.
The gym was packed to the roof and back with passion-filled spectators, sporting “Tee-shirts” with our beloved player’s face on them, a White Out having been requested by Tee himself. By the time 7:30 rolled around, WHAS, WLKY, CN2, UofL, WAVE3, and several other camera crews were prepared for the emotion-filled basket to be made. Chants for Tee, cheering at every basket made during warm-ups.
The tip off went as planned: De Sales made their first two-pointer, turning the ball over to the Mustangs, allowing Tee to perform his practiced lay-up. As soon as the ball cascaded through the net, the entire court was swarmed by the entire Black Hole (student section) of North Oldham. Tears of joy were cried, voices were lost, hope was risen.
The basket was made and the filming was finished. All that was next was to blast social media in the hopes of getting noticed by Tee’s dream: Sports Center. The 11pm broadcasts of Tee’s shot came and went, with no word from ESPN. Then the impossible happened. Tee Salinas made it on Sports Center.
As a community and a school, we should be incredibly proud of ourselves. As teenagers, we did what we do best - tweet - to make one shot crazy special for someone that deserved it ten times over. Last night’s aura was full of passion and love for Tee and for each other. This is why we’re the Mustang Nation, this is what a real North Fam looks like.