Saline Senior Mason Freeman Makes the Basket of the Season
Mason Freeman did what few people can do in 2022. He united everyone behind the same cause.
Freeman is a 19-year-old Saline High School student with cognitive impairment. This year, Freeman decided to help the Saline junior varsity boys basketball team as the team's trainer.
Freeman, according to his mother Brenda, loves basketball and loves being part of the team.
"It has boosted his self-esteem. Being a part of the team has been wonderful," Brenda Freeman said. "The coaches and teammates have been great.
Thursday night against Redford Union, in the fourth quarter of the team's final regular-season game, coach Pete Carravallah tapped Freeman on the shoulder.
He rose from his chair and walked to the scorekeeper's table and took a knee. When the whistle went, Freeman entered the game to the applause of the crowd.
When Freeman entered the game, the Hornets fed him the ball over and over again. The players from Redford Union did their part, allowing a free path to shooting positions. Freeman showed flashy dribbling skills - including a between-the-legs crossover.
With the entire crowd cheering him on, Freeman attempted several three-pointers and a layup, coming ever so close to scoring on more than one of those attempts.
Finally, with about two minutes to play, Freeman ran in from the arc along and made his layup.
His teammates roared with joy.
And so did the fans in the student section.
After the game, the Hornets mobbed Freeman in celebration of their win.
He emerged from the mob with a smile.
Mason's mom said she felt overwhelmed when Mason entered the game. When he made the basket?
"Oh my God. I was crying," she said. "God is good. He's dreamt of this day since he was a little boy. He wanted the crowd to shout his name and it was great to see it."
Teammate Joe Fairman said the team was happy for Freeman.
"It was fun. We watched him play all year in practice. He's played every single practice with us. We just had to get him one (basket)," Freeman said. "He comes to every practice with us. He has fun. He helps us pick up all the balls and clean up."
Coach Carravallah was thrilled for Freeman.
"He's been putting in the hours, putting in the work. He's been showing up to all the practices and all the games. It was his turn, finally. I felt like he earned this opportunity," Carravallah said. "It was awesome when that crowd erupted. This was his last high school (basketball) moment, and I'm glad it was a good one."
Carravallah credited the Redford Union team. They had a tough night, down 44-4 at halftime, but they let the fourth quarter be about Freeman.
"That's a classy program," Carravallah said. "I can't thank Redford Union enough."