RED BUD, Ill. — At Red Bud High School, they recently gave someone something special. A chance.
No one knows that better than the Musketeers' team manager Bryce Donjon.
Bryce has a developmental disability but he exceeds everyone here when it comes to enthusiasm.
"Man, Bryce is awesome," said senior guard Nick Fehr. "Every day in practice he's always got a smile on his face. Everybody loves seeing Bryce."
And it turns out that some of Bryce's biggest fans are the fans.
It was senior night recently and the Musketeers were hosting Carlyle, one of their rivals.
"That was a real big game for us," explained Musketeers Head Coach Dane Walter.
"A lot of us came out of the locker room with a lot of energy since it was senior night," senior guard Logan Cathell said.
Bryce is a senior too, so in addition to fetching water and wiping sweat, he knew it was his job to be the team's number one cheerleader.
"I'm helping the crowd and the team," Bryce said, smiling.
But Coach Walter had something else in mind.
He said Bryce has always worked just as hard as any player and he wanted to turn this moment into a memory.
"I gave him a uniform," Walter said. "I said Bryce if we get the chance to get you in there, I'll get you in."
"I was like we're going to come out here and try to get a good lead for him and hopefully he can get out there and get a bucket," Cathell said.
The chants began late in the game after the Musketeers started to pull away. Fans wanted this dream to come true.
"The crowd was chanting, 'We want Donny,'" Coach Walter said. "Donny is Bryce's nickname."
"That just brought so much joy," Bryce said.
Then, number 50 checked in.
Bryce didn't just want to be on the court, he wanted to be on the score sheet. Unfortunately, the shots weren't falling.
"He took a couple of threes first and then he decided he better get in and get his bucket before time ran out," Coach Walter said.
And though Carlyle was losing the game, they were winners for letting it happen.
"When he made that bucket, everybody just blew up," Fehr said. "It's the best environment I've ever been in."
"It gives me goosebumps thinking about it," Coach Walter said. "That's what it's all about."
Years from now, few will remember the final score but they're unlikely to forget how this game made them feel.
"So how long do you think you'll remember that moment?" we asked Bryce.
"Pretty much forever," he said.
Two teams and one special night, showing us all that the secret to success may just be, helping others succeed.
"It was awesome," Fehr said.