Hopkins basketball manager warms hearts despite tourney loss

HOPKINS, Minn – The top-ranked Hopkins boys basketball lost the Minnesota state championship to Lakeville North within two points this weekend, but not everyone viewed the last-second loss as an upset.

The moments after the buzzer ran out would reveal a true winner.

Stunned and somber Hopkins players stepped up to get their second place medal with names called one by one.

Finally, the announcer shouted "Grant Petersen!"

Petersen, 18, jumped up and down, flung his arms into the air with glee and stepped up to get his silver medal with a smile.

"I am so happy they say that," said Petersen.

The contrast of the moment with Petersen rejoicing next to disappointed players brought the crowd to tears. Many took to social media to share his act of sportsmanship. KARE 11 is not allowed to post the video due to KTSC Channel 45 regulations.

Monica and Jerry Petersen watched their son's smile spread across the Jumbotron and knew it was a genuine Grant reaction.

"From the heart and it's what it is all about. Seeing the look on his face made it all worthwhile whether win or lose doesn't matter," said Jerry Petersen. "Grant has been teaching us since he was old enough to crawl. We're very proud."

Grant has Down syndrome and has spent his life focusing on what is possible. He plays basketball with Special Olympics but still wanted to be a part of his high school basketball team.

"We had asked the coaches if he could somehow be a part of the Hopkins team and wholeheartedly they said of course. It just blossomed from there," said his parents, Monica and Jerry Petersen. "He's just matured. There has been a huge change in the way Grant is handling himself and other people."

Grant reminded many in Target Center that day what's still possible after a loss.

"The joy we have in our hearts," said his mom. "Grant just does what feels right in the moment."

Grant hasn't stopped cheering on his team, still not realizing he stole the show with an act of sportsmanship and a silver medal.

"Great job for the game," he said, proudly wearing his medal. "They are strong and tough this year."

The moment has created a movement on social media. His classmates have taken to Twitter with a mission to get Grant more exposure. Search the hashtag: #GetGrantonEllen.


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