FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno High senior Jeremy Mendoza will cherish the moment forever. For four years, he's given his all to the Fresno High basketball program. On Tuesday night, everyone in the gym cheered for the superstar he is.
Jeremy Mendoza loves the game of basketball. Love is an understatement.
"It means everything to me. Just being out here with my teammates," said Jeremy.
Because being able to play the game took a lot of hard work.
"He has really overcame a lot. He's kind of deaf in one ear. He has ADHD which is really hard to focus on top of having a brain abnormality, his fine motor skills are not there. How he shoots that ball I don't know," said Anita Mendoza.
Mendoza says her son became obsessed with hoops since he could walk. The special needs Jeremy lives with are daily obstacles. But on Senior Night, Jeremey shows his school he overcame them all.
"Tonight, we're gonna surprise him. He's gonna suit up with the varsity guys. He's gonna start tonight," said head coach Carvell Wafer.
"I said I'm at a loss for words. I don't know what to say," said Jeremy.
Jeremy is in his element. This is Jeremy's night. But it's not close to over. The first bucket is his to score. You can hear a pin drop as he misses the layup but he wouldn't be Jeremy Mendoza if he didn't try again. The gym explodes with cheers. Coach Wafer says Jeremy's teammates are his biggest fans.
"Oh these guys love him. He's involved with all our fundraisers that we do, all our off campus events and the kids, they been around him like I said the seniors for four years now and they just enjoy having him around," said Wafer.
And Jeremy's impact on his team is here to stay.
"Just having a positive mindset on anything on anything coach needs me to do to help this team win, I'll be ready for it," said Jeremy.
Jeremy's mother says he will be attending Fresno City College after graduation. He hopes to continue playing basketball.