Area basketball team fueled by special player

Joshua Davis is an honorary member of Emmanuel Christian's team.

Posted: Mar 1, 2018 6:47 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2018 6:56 PM

DENNIS, Miss. (WTVA) - Emmanuel Christian School's boys basketball team is trying to make its state tournament for the fourth straight year.

The Eagles have extra motivation, thanks to Joshua Davis, an honorary member of the team.

"I personally believe he's pretty much our fuel for the team. He's pretty much the one that motivates us to play," said junior post player Coby Young.

Joshua Davis was born with Kabuki syndrome, which is similar to Down's syndrome.

"He's had heart surgery and tethered spine surgery," said Vicki Davis, Joshua's mother. "They actually did not think he would make it, and they said if he did make it, they gave us special wheelchairs to try because he'd never walk. As you can see, he's doing great."

Joshua wears jersey No. 1 and recently scored a basket in a game.

"Win or lose, we were gonna put him in," said head coach David Pruitt. "Had it been a close game, he was still going in regardless, because he practices, he deserves to play just like them.

"The crowd knew that when Joshua went to the scorer's table to check in, what was gonna take place, they were already on their feet, they were cheering for him, and it was just a special moment for him and for us."

Joshua is deaf, so his teammates have learned sign language to communicate with him.

"Even just strangers walking down the street, he somehow just manages to connect with them a little bit," Young said. "He's not able to talk, but it's almost like you kind of forget he's deaf, because he's so interactive with all of us.

"I would say he's probably our MVP of the team, we couldn't do near as good without him."

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