Being part of a team helped this middle-school student thrive in a big way.
Lots of parents get emotional when they see their kids playing sports. This mom is no different. But her son's story is.
As reported by Fox 46 Charlotte, just a few months ago, Tequila Coulter was the only one who her 13-year-old son JaQuise would fully communicate with.
"Quise," as he's affectionately called, has autism. And despite being a good student, a trumpet player in the band, and an usher at church, he was very shy and quiet.
So when he decided to try out for the competitive Knights basketball team at Charlotte, North Carolina's Grier Middle School, his mom was all for it.
"Coach Hunter made sure that he tried out. He did not just get put on the team because of his special needs. He actually tried out and worked hard, and for that I'm so proud of him."
— Tequila Coulter
Yes, Quise made the team. And that was just the beginning.
With the support of his family, teammates, and head coach Marquise Hunter, Quise quickly gained confidence and became an integral part of the team.
"As the season progressed, he definitely started to feel his self, like he definitely started to, you know, get some swagger to him."
— Marquise Hunter, Knights head coach
Here are Quise and his teammates dancing up a storm to get pumped up for the game:
It was that kind of teamwork, sportsmanship, and camaraderie that led them to the middle-school championship for the the third year in a row.
The once quiet, shy seventh-grader helped lead his team to victory.
Quise isn't just a victor on the basketball court. He's a winner all around. And his mom couldn't be prouder. She says confidently: "Just because he has a disability doesn't mean that he can't do things that he wants to do. He's a normal child, has normal dreams, and he's gonna do it."
To see JaQuise in action during the Knight's final game, check this out: