LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Centennial High School senior William Jacobs has been through more in his short lifetime than most people could ever imagine.
Jacobs suffered a stroke at just three weeks of age; doctors told his parents he might never walk or talk as a result. The right side of his body does not function because of the stroke.
Instead, Jacobs has thrived. He’s a 4.0 student at Centennial, headed to the University of New Mexico next fall. On Thursday, Jacobs got to live out a moment he’s long-dreamed of.
For four years, Jacobs has been a student manager for the Centennial Hawks boys basketball team. On Senior Night on Thursday vs. Las Cruces High, Jacobs finally got the chance he’s been waiting for: playing in his first – and last – high school basketball game.
Donning a No. 10 jersey, Jacobs walked out with his family to be honored on Senior Night, then went through pregame warm-ups with his teammates.
Inserted into the starting lineup, Jacobs was the last player announced and came down a tunnel of teammates, coaches and cheerleaders to a raucous applause from the entire gymnasium.
Centennial won the game’s opening tip and Jacobs cleared out the floor, taking his defender one-on-one to the basket. Jacobs missed his first attempt, but after the Hawks got the rebound, Jacobs wasn’t going to miss again. He put home the first two points of his varsity basketball career, played one defensive possession, then checked out of the game.
He went to the bench and received hugs and high-fives from his teammates and coaches, before sitting down and enjoying an entertaining, back-and-forth game that Las Cruces High eventually won, 68-60.
The outcome of the game wasn’t important, though. Jacobs had already made the most of his moment.