WXXI AM News

J-Mac, Ten Years On

Feb 11, 2016

J-Mac, now 27
Credit Alex Crichton

A celebration was held Thursday to mark one of sports amazing feats: Jason McElwain's 20 point performance in the waning moments of a game against Spencerport.

McElwain, a teenager with autism, was the team's manager, and coach Jim Johnson decided to give him an opportunity late in the game.

Johnson says J-Mac's performance gave inspiration and hope to a lot of people.

Thursday, J-Mac teamed up with his former coach again and the AutismUp organization for a fundraising luncheon.

The keynote speaker was Roy Firestone, formerly of ESPN and a public speaker.

He says he's related J-Mac's story hundreds of times during personal appearances around the country, and he says he believes it was the greatest sports story he's ever covered.

Firestone notes AutismUp works with autistic kids to help them connect.

"With this kind of outreach in this community, it's an enormous plus for autistic families, and J-Mac is really a kind of torch that was lit for the autistic community, worldwide, really."

As for J-Mac, he maintains his biggest moment wasn't that game, it was when his team won the sectionals about a month later.

"March 4th of 2006 was the best moment of my life.  More than that game, because that gave me confidence that I can do whatever I want in my life."

That championship came about a month after his performance, which won an ESPY for the Best Moment in Sports in 2006.

Currently program assistant to retiring Greece Athena coach Johnson, J-Mac says he's hoping to coach his own team, at any level.

J-Mac between Roy Firestone (left) and coach Jim Johnson (right)