Waukon basketball player having the best season of his life - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waukon basketball player having the best season of his life

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WAUKON (KWWL) -

There's a very special thing happening in the gyms of Northeastern Iowa.

An unlikely hero has emerged, one who is doing more than just scoring a few buckets--his presence on the court is teaching many people valuable lessons they'll be able to carry the rest of their lives.

17-year-old Terrell Baumler is a junior at Waukon, and is a member of the JV basketball team.

Terrell had a tumor the size of a lemon on his brain when he was just 22 months old.

He survived that surgery, but a relapse and complications after that have made life tough for Terrell.  He's had to learn to walk and talk again.

Now Terrell, while he still does suffer side effects from those episodes, is healthy, happy and loves to play basketball.

What's better is that his coach, teammates, and everyone at those Waukon games love to see him play too.

"He brings a lot of energy to our team, he's always fun, always has a positive attitude," said Pryce Hesse, one of Terrell's teammates.

His team has made sure Terrell has gotten into almost every game this year--normally in the last minute or two of the game.

And that's when something special really happens.

His teammates make sure he knows where to stand on the court, and make sure to pass him the ball.

The other team, regardless of the opponent, is all for it too.

And they let him shoot.  And shoot. And shoot, until he makes it.

"It always feels good when he makes it, and everyone goes crazy in the gym," Hesse said.

And if there's time, they'll let him shoot the next time down the court, too.  Even his opponents who might pull down his rebound, give Terrell the ball back to shoot again.

"That's pretty nice of him, I think, and they deserve a lot for that too, I feel like," Hesse said.

Terrell says he loves playing with his team, and loves that they pass him the ball.

When asked if he would compare himself with Michael Jordan, he replied with a simple, "Yes."

And while he's confident on the court and with his skills, his presence on the court is doing so much to teach so many.

 "I think the kids really get a lot out of it.  Because they understand, basketball is a very competitive sport, and as you  move up from freshman to JV level, it gets more competitive.  But there's still so many things you learn from sports that don't apply to the court, and I think they see that through the accomplishments Terrell has for the team," said John O'Neill, the JV coach.

Terrell has scored as many as six points in a couple of games, and both coach and teammates say the hope to get him in many more games this year.

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