WATCH THIS: Student manager gets into the game, makes big shot - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

WATCH THIS: Student manager gets into the game, makes big shot


RHINELANDER (WAOW) - The saying goes, "if at first you don't succeed try, try, try again." Last week, that's exactly what David Pokrandt did.

"It felt pretty good," said Pokrandt.  The Rhinelander senior has been the boy's varsity basketball team manager for three seasons.  "I bring the basketballs in and take the practice equipment out," explained Pokrandt.  But, he recently left that role behind, if only for a few hours.

"He had a nice surprise from the players," said Head Coach Derek Lemmens.  The boy's basketball team surprised Pokrandt and put his name on the roster for their game against Tomahawk. They gave him a jersey, shorts and a warm-up top.  "I have to go tell my mom!" Pokrandt said as he ran out of the locker room after the surprise.  "I had tears coming down from my eyes, I had tears coming down right away," said Pokrandt.

So, with just more than a minute left in the game, the senior finally got his shot.  "The crowd was chanting for a while to get him in," said Lemmens.  "The first shot I knew that was going to be an air ball. The second shot hit the rim. The third shot, there it was. There it was," said Pokrandt as he replayed his most memorable moments of the game in his head.

Pokrandt suffers from a cognitive disorder. But, on the court you wouldn't notice. Instead, it's his drive and passion that catch your eye.  "Every time he's in practice, it makes us look over and realize the game is just fun," said Lemmens.

"Are you famous now walking around these halls?" I asked Pokrandt.  "Yeah! Yes!" he laughed. "That's what they think, that's what my team thinks."

But aside from all it all, all the congrats, and the high fives, there is something he wants to say.  "I just want to tell them thank you, for letting me be on the team," said Pokrandt.

Because, if nothing else, he's learned one thing. You'll never make the shots you don't take.  The Hodags won the game against Tomahawk. The team has a few more games before playoffs begin. Pokrandt will be there, on the sidelines, for all of them.

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