An area teen with muscular dystrophy got the surprise of a lifetime when his classmates thanked him in a big way for always being the smile in the room and for not letting his disease stand in the way of encouraging others.
The event happened just before the Prairie View High School boys' basketball team played its homecoming game. They ended up losing, but the team, fans and a very special boy walked away with an experience they'll never forget.
Clayton Holland is the type of guy that gets everyone around him in a good mood. He might be a little slower to get around, but he'll be the first to greet you.
"He's just a great person, great friend, classmate, always says hi to you, always has a smile on his face," classmate Luke Miller said.
Clayton doesn't let muscular dystrophy get in the way of much – even showing off his skills and making a 3-point shot while standing backwards when KCTV5 came to visit his school - and doesn't ask for special treatment. But during Prairie View High School's recent Courtwarming, some students had another plan.
Luke was announced as the Courtwarming King. While the queen was crowned, Luke took the microphone and turned over his new title.
"It wasn't too hard a decision," Luke said.
A group of girls walked Clayton to mid court where he was crowned 2013 Courtwarming King.
"I feel like he's more deserving than any of us," Luke said.
The candidates for Courtwarming King said the decision wasn't hard because Clayton doesn't miss a game and he'll be the first to greet you in the halls.
Clayton took it all in - the standing ovation, the honor, the sincere love.
"I was excited and happy and very proud," he said.
And one-by-one he said thank you the best way knows how with a hug to everyone around him, leaving a lasting memory and hardly a dry eye in the gym.
The school's principal became teary eyed talking about what took place, saying he's never seen anything so amazing in his 20 years as a principal.
"I think Clayton was very moved by that. And I think those four students were, like I said, flying higher than Clayton because they knew that they had done something to help another person," Principal Tim Weis said.
Weis said the event was just the culmination of what the senior class has done all year and shows that their spirit is unbeatable. They are teaching underclassmen the importance of accepting others, no matter who they are, or what obstacles they face.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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