Sixers honoring Bensalem High student

Posted: February 19, 2014

KEVIN GROW SAT at a table at center court of the Sixers' practice facility at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. A plethora of cameras and reporters surrounded the Bensalem High School senior. Moments later, Sixers coach Brett Brown made his way to the table and greeted Grow. The 76ers and Kevin Grow then agreed on what was cited as the only 2-day contract in NBA history.

Grow, who has Down syndrome, has been a manager on the basketball team at Bensalem for 4 years. Last week, he finally got a chance to play in two games; in one, he scored 14 points and drained four shots from beyond the three-point line.

The 18-year-old was invited to practice with the Sixers last night, and also will take part in pregame warmups tonight when the Sixers take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he arrives at the Wells Fargo Center, he will have a locker and a jersey waiting for him. His Bensalem team also will be honored during a timeout during the game.

"To see everyone share in the moment, it stirs your emotions," said Earl Grow, Kevin's father.

"His story has spread across the country," Brown said. "From time to time, you learn stories like [Kevin's] and what do you say? You walk away and you have a little more appreciation for a bunch of things. It is a grounding effect when you see something like that."

Grow's story grew when the students at Bensalem started a campaign on social media to get people to games against Abington and Neshaminy, when Grow got on the court for the first time.

His parents say students and teammates at Bensalem have been nothing but supportive.

"The stands were filled with all his friends and former teachers, physical therapists, so they all shared in that moment," Earl Grow said. "There is a lot of hard work that goes with kids with disabilities, so they all shared in the moment that he had the ability to go on the floor and perform."

"His teammates have been great throughout the 4 years," said Dorothy Grow, Kevin's mother. "They have always included him, he is always one of the guys."

The entire Grow family accompanied Kevin to practice last evening. While they said they did not ever think the story would erupt the way it has, they are happy for their son.

"Like we all think, it's a special moment," Earl said. "We see our kids out there and we want them to succeed. It is no different than any other parent."

Tonight, they'll see their son suit up for an NBA team.

Kevin summed up his feelings in one word: "Happy."

A lot of people would second that.

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