'Everyone deserves a chance. This was his chance'

'Everyone deserves a chance. This was his chance' »Play Video
Mikey Garcia goes up for a successful layup Wednesday in Hillsboro as Tanner Mannen looks on.

HILLSBORO, Ore. – KATU News brought two 12-year-old rivals back to the basketball court Wednesday after a play during a middle school game showed winning isn't everything.

Mikey Garcia has autism, developmental delays and hearing loss, but he got a shot at glory for the first time in his life when the player on the other team, Tanner Mannen, passed him the ball.

Mikey misses most of the shots he takes. So that's why it's so special when they go in. And while Tanner and Mikey played like old teammates Wednesday, it was only the second time they'd ever shared a court.

The first time carried a little more pressure. Tanner, a seventh-grader at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove, was on the visiting team and Mikey, also a seventh-grader, was with the home team at French Prairie Middle School in Woodburn.

Mikey spent the whole season on the bench, helping the coach, who's also his dad. He had never taken a single shot until the last two minutes of the last game of the season.

"Their team got the ball," said Efrain Garcia, Mikey's dad. "I did not know what the coach had said to the other team. The kids started dribbling, turned around and gave him the ball – Mikey takes one shot – misses; Mikey takes another shot – misses."

Tanner tossed Mikey the ball one more time.

"He takes the third shot, and he made it," Mikey's father said.

Tanner said his coach Justin Fritz never told him to let Mikey make the basket. It was his decision to pass Mikey the ball.

"Everyone deserves a chance. This was his chance," Tanner said on Wednesday.

As for Mikey?

"Next year, I'll play," he said.