Jump to content
  • Join Today

    Join today and reduce ads presented

  • Members do not see this ad
Sign in to follow this  
Triple B

Autism can't stop USF basketball manager Brandon Matthews

Recommended Posts

Awesome story, leading to a little softening of the heart for xCOA and even more respect for CBG, if that's even possible ...

By Chris Torello Florida
PUBLISHED February 15, 2019 @7:59 PM

Brandon Matthews loves basketball. Through every dribble, every pass, and every basket - Brandon is watching.

Basketball has been a part of Brandon for his entire life. It’s helped him. But, maybe more importantly, it’s helped others accept him. Brandon is autistic. And…is nonverbal.

“There was a lot of unknowns. We didn’t know exactly what that meant, we didn’t know what he would or would not be able to do, or have challenges with.” Jason Matthews is Brandon’s father. He was a college basketball standout at Pitt in the late ‘80’s with teammates that included current Arizona coach Sean Miller and Jerome Lane.It would be that basketball circle that helped Jason and his wife, Jules, find the best situation for Brandon’s social and cognitive development – former USF head coach Orlando Antigua welcomed Brandon to the Bulls basketball family. 

“Within the first week of coach Antigua getting the job, he calls me up and says ‘hey you and Jules need to see what we have on campus for Brandon," remembers Jason. "If you come down and you like it, then he is on as our team manager.”
With that, Brandon began his life at USF. But, just two and a half years later, Orlando Antigua was out and the search for a new coach was on. Once again, uncertainty crept in for the Matthews family.

“I couldn't my wife I was a little concerned. I couldn't tell Brandon's two sisters that I was concerned," said Jason. "Luckily, we were out on the AAU circuit and a lot of coaches told me they would make a call for me to ‘BG’.”

BG – being Brian Gregory who was named USF’s new basketball coach in March of 2017. Gregory and his staff welcomed Brandon with open arms.

“Brandon brings energy every single day," said Gregory with a smile. "Two of the most important things I said, when we too over this program, was we needed to up the energy level and up the positive attitude level. Every single day he does that for our program and it’s infectious.”

One of USF’s assistant coaches is Tom Herrion – who’s son, Robert, is also on the autism spectrum. Coach Herrion felt a true connection with Brandon.

“When you are around somebody like that, and you get to know some of their mannerisms," said Herrion. "He figures you out pretty quick. And we get to have the joy and pleasure of having him around us every day.”

Herrion is heavily involved in raising awareness for autism. He and Towson head coach Pat Skerry co-founded ‘Coaches Powering Forward for Autism’.

Rest of article

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great story about an amazing young man. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Younger folks really can't appreciate how quickly (relatively) society is becoming more comfortable around people with disabilities.  When I was young in the 50's and 60's (the "old farts" mantra), if a male had a cognitive or developmental disability his head was shaved (so others would know) and he was mostly kept at home.  All developmental disabilities were labeled "retarded" and those people were feared because you never know what they will do.  Especially around the girls.  We were ignorant of the value that people with disabilities bring.

Now we are praising this young man for what he brings to the team.  This makes me even more proud of our university. :04-rock:

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome young man!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Grateful Dad said:

Younger folks really can't appreciate how quickly (relatively) society is becoming more comfortable around people with disabilities.  When I was young in the 50's and 60's (the "old farts" mantra), if a male had a cognitive or developmental disability his head was shaved (so others would know) and he was mostly kept at home.  All developmental disabilities were labeled "retarded" and those people were feared because you never know what they will do.  Especially around the girls.  We were ignorant of the value that people with disabilities bring.

Now we are praising this young man for what he brings to the team.  This makes me even more proud of our university. :04-rock:

+1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

image.png.845e287559e1cac45a4186afffa06c0c.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...