It has been quite the year for a Bridgman High School student who, until recently, was seen primarily on the sidelines during the Bees’ basketball games. That’s all changed since Thomas Adams has taken to the court and scored big the past couple weeks against rival high schools.
Thomas has always loved the game, but a stroke he suffered as a baby hindered the use of his right arm.
So, for the past four years, Thomas has served as team manager for the Bridgman boys basketball team.
"His senior year we promised him if he worked really hard and did all the running and conditioning he could wear a jersey game nights and maybe check in," said Coach Mike MIller.
But, Thomas has done more than that.
The couple times he's been on the court, he's scored the team some points.
His first successful shot was a couple of weeks ago against Lake Michigan Catholic. During that game Thomas, sunk a buzzer-beater basket that earned him several high fives from the opposing team, and lots of hugs from his own teammates.
"It felt great because scoring my first basket I was so happy and the team was so happy," Thomas said.
Then, on Monday, Thomas played the entire last quarter of Bridgman's playoff game against River Valley.
Throughout the quarter, his teammates kept passing him the ball, allowing him to score eight points.
"It's so much fun to watch him play and hear his teammates cheer him on and the student section just go wild when he goes out," Thomas' mother, Leslie, said through tears.
Thomas' positive, can-do attitude has left a strong impression on the team and community.
Over the past couple of weeks, he's gained dozens of fans, who are amazed by his determination on the court.
"I think it's an inspiration for our team to see him at practice everyday working really hard knowing he might never get to play in a game and, when it came to fruition, it was special," Miller said.
Thomas' time on the team helped him choose his career path. He plans to become a high school gym teacher and, of course, a basketball coach.
“I love my teammates and my coach for this opportunity to play with them and stuff and being on the team for four years,” Thomas said.
Bridgman upset New Buffalo Wednesday night and are now off to the District Championship game Friday at 7pm at New Buffalo.