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Lake Hamilton basketball team manager becomes game MVP

Andy Tolleson has cerebral palsy, as well as a genetic disorder that can make things a little harder. On Tuesday, he got a chance to join the team!

LAKE HAMILTON, Ark. — The Lake Hamilton High's basketball team is having a great season. 

Coach Scotty Pennington says, "This is one of the best teams that we've had here at Lake Hamilton."

And behind any great team is a great manager.

Coach adding, "He takes pride in what he does…that's Andy, that's just how he is." 

Senior Andy Tolleson has been that manager since he was in 8th grade.

"I started with the team so I can learn more about basketball," Andy said.

Andy just loves being near the court, but his mom admits he'd rather suit up.

"He's always wanted to play basketball, but unfortunately, he just didn't have the skill level that he needed," Rebekah Tolleson said.

Andy has cerebral palsy, as well as a genetic disorder that can make things a little harder.

Coach Pennington said, "[Andy] did try out in the spring just like everybody else... But I told him that he was so valuable in the role that he was already doing, that we needed him to stay there."

So he became the best manager they've ever seen, until Tuesday night.

Andy saying, "I'm not the manager tonight."

Coach and teammates had something else in mind. Last week, they brought out a jersey just for him to wear on senior night.

Giving Andy a new title he describes as "bucket getter."

So Tuesday, instead of running bottles, he ran the court and stood alongside his teammates on his senior night.

Getting not just one basket, but three, including a three-pointer on the buzzer.

Rebekah Tolleson thankful for the team, "The team here at Lake Hamilton have really stood behind Andy... we can look back on this for a long time to come."

Scoring much more than points in a game, as both teams stormed the court after the Lake Hamilton win.

The kind gesture even caught the attention of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who met with the team on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

    

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