A once in a lifetime chance is the way Coventry High School freshman Cole Campbell describes one February when he got to play in a high school basketball game along side his big brother, senior Tom Campbell for the very first time. The acts of kindness displayed that night prompted the Metta Students Foundation to award not one but both teams grant money during a ceremony at Coventry High School today.
Cole suffers from Tubular sclerosis, a rare brain disease that causes serious seizures. By the age of eight he underwent three brain surgeries and requires some special needs at school. As team manager Cole normally cheers the players on but, with the blessing of both teams Cole was in the game that night.
The magical metta moment came quickly, when Cole took the first handoff from big brother Tom and
landed a thee pointer, followed by three other three pointers to win the game.
What made that game even more magical, is the reaction from not only his teammates, but the exuberant cheers from the opposing team. Afterwards senior Tom Campbell told one news reporter,"That was probably the coolest part. Looking over and I saw the Cranston West bench. All those guys going crazy and that meant a lot to me."
Today both teams attended the ceremony along with their coaches, faculty and fellow students.
Norm Kelly, founder of Software Quality Associates in Providence, created the Metta Students Foundation in October of 2012 after learning of one teen’s kind act towards another teen. Each month, during the school year, the foundation awards one thousand dollars to a student who shares metta.
“Metta means love and kindness," states Norm Kelly, “and we are proud to be able to give recognition to all of those bright lights who give back, not because they have to, but because they are truly good hearted and want to make a positive difference.”
“My goal for the night was to have my two sons play together on the court for one time in there life before my son Tom graduated,” says Coventry Basketball Head Coach, Tom Campbell, “Cole has some special needs and is not able to fully play basketball on a varsity or JV level. I thought the best part was going to be seeing Cole and Tom on the floor at the same time. Honestly that became secondary to what happen for everyone in that gym. To watch the reactions and the sportsmanship of Cranston West and the energy and excitement of all the fans became the best part of the night. I have never been in a gym where everyone was supporting the same thing. Usually the gym is divided for their respective teams. Those two minutes that Cole played everyone in that gym was supporting him and the moment. Truly Special ! “
“I was very proud of my team, they did that all on their own,” says Cranston West Basketball Head Coach Jim Moretti, “It was a very good moment during a tough season. To be able to see the reaction of everyone there and be part of Cole's moment. Then when he made all those shots it was icing on the cake! it is an honor to be recognized with this award. Nowadays all you hear is the negative, to be able to accent a positive moment like this is fantastic.
To see video of how the Metta Students foundation began or for more information about the foundation click on video link.