Beyond Adversity

Enjoying Life After Adversity

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Setting Aside Rivalry for Mitchell Marcus


Jonathan-Montanez (left)and Mitchell-Marcus (right)

Jonathan Montanez (left) Mitchell-Marcus (right)

In graduate school, work, contests, sports, and many other facets of life, winning is a zero-sum game — if one team wins, then by definition the other teams do not. Many bonus, exam, grade point average, score, recognition, and award systems are designed with the one-winner mentality. However, the video in this post proves there are situations when players on opposing teams work together so everyone can win.


Article by Aaron Bracamontes \ El Paso Times

It was a perfect night, a perfect game, a perfect act of sportsmanship and a perfect two points.

A last-minute turnover may go down as one of the classiest gestures in El Paso high school basketball history.

With 13 seconds left in a rivalry game, Franklin High’s Jon Montanez passed the ball to an opponent, Coronado High’s Mitchell Marcus.

It was no error.

Mitchell, a special-needs student, stood stunned at what Montanez had just done. Montanez simply told him, “Shoot it, it’s your time.”

It was the type of moment movies are made of as Mitchell scored a last-second shot in a 55-40 victory on Tuesday. It was his first, last and only high school game.

His parents, Clement and Amy Marcus, cried.

His coach, Peter Morales, got chills.

Franklin Cougar fans cheered.

Coronado T-Bird students stormed the court and went wild.

And Mitchell, 18, basked in high school glory as his fellow students carried him off the court.

On the Franklin bench, Cougars coach Todd Bostic was proud of the character his players showed.

“It shows that basketball is just a game,” Bostic said. “There are so many other things that matter more than the game. That moment was bigger than the game.”

“Living your dream doesn’t happen to a lot of people,” Morales said. “To see the fans chant his name and cheer for him is something that we may never get to see again.”

As Montanez walked off the court, Coronado fans congratulated him for his class act.


Click here to read the full article by Aaron Bracamontes.

Click here to read a follow-up article by Aaron Bracamontes.

Aaron Bracamontes for writing the story; El Paso Times for publishing the story; Steve Hartman; CBS News; On the Road; Coach Peter Morales; Coronado High School Thunderbirds in El Paso, Texas; Mitchell Marcus; Amy Marcus; Franklin High School; Jonathan Montanez; and all the other people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture, text, and video I used in this post.

Aaron Bracamontes can be reached by email at

Even after brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to eradicate his brain cancer, Scott continued to work; continued to study; and earned professional certifications from the Project Management Institute, American Society of Quality, and Stanford University School of Professional Development. How were all of these achievements possible at a time when Scott was struggling with the hurdles of brain injury? The answers are in this blog.

2 Responses to “Setting Aside Rivalry for Mitchell Marcus”

  • Esther says:

    This is a heart warming display of group kindness. It also has health benefit. Thank you, Scott!

    “Numerous studies have shown that receiving, giving, or even witnessing acts of kindness increases immunity and the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood in the brain . . . . Just thinking and talking about kindness can improve happiness and peace.”

    Psychology Today: In the face of adversity (the importance of resilience) by Guest Blogger Talya Steinberg, Psy.D.

    • Scott says:

      Esther, I read the article you included with your comment. I like the article, but I especially like the Goldfish experiment involving toddlers. Thank you for sharing the article. ~ Scott

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**** About The Author ****

During the past 13 years, I have been diagnosed with cancer, brain injury, balance issues, stroke, ataxia, visual impairment, and auditory challenges. I have overcome significant adversity! I can explain how to overcome your challenges. I am a very active Toastmaster and a motivational speaker.