J-Mac enjoys meeting Bush, picks UConn

Updated: June 14, 2006, 8:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

GREECE, N.Y. -- Jason McElwain didn't think anything could beat the night he was carried off the basketball court on the shoulders of his teammates after scoring 20 points in four minutes.

But then came Tuesday, when President George Bush made it a point to visit with the autistic Greece Athena High School student during a swing through western New York to talk about Medicare.

"It's a tough choice," the 17-year-old said Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" when asked whether meeting Bush was better than his stunning performance on the court last month. "I think meeting the president is a little bit better."

Jason, meanwhile, is preparing for more madness. Connecticut, he said, will win the NCAA Tournament.

By now, the story of J-Mac, as he's known around this Rochester suburb, is well known.

Last month, varsity coach Jim Johnson had Jason, the team's manager, suit up for the final home game of the season and put him in when the team opened a large lead. In his first and only appearance for the team, the 5-foot-6 senior hit six 3-point shots and a 2-pointer in the game's final four minutes. The feat was captured on video and the tape has been shown repeatedly on news and sports channels nationwide.

Tuesday night, the coach and teen phenom, as well as some members of the team acknowledged the other players in the national feel-good story, presenting a thank-you plaque to the Spencerport team that lost the game, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

Jason never imagined he'd touch so many people.

"I didn't realize that until e-mails came from families and kids with autism," he said during the television interview from the Greece Athena gym Wednesday. "Autism doesn't affect me at all."

Since Jason's awe-inspiring performance on the court, Hollywood has come calling. His parents have received calls from about 25 production companies ranging from The Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. to independent documentary filmmakers.

"It's a dream come true," Jason said.

"We've lost a lot of sleep, and we've had a lot of phone calls," Debbie McElwain said. "The phone calls have died down, but every once in a while we have to take the phone off the hook so we could take a break."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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