Many people dried their eyes and asked for tissues at the Mattituck school board meeting Thursday night as the seventh grade boys basketball team explained why a game they didn’t even win last month is an experience they’ll never forget.
Following an unselfish act from an opposing team — and with the support of his beloved teammates — 13-year-old Miguel Borrayo, who has Down syndrome, scored the first points of his school basketball career Jan. 8.
The Mattituck players say they’re thankful for the Westhampton team’s sportsmanship in the game. They also talked about how inspirational Miguel is.
When athletic director Gregg Wormuth asked what their coach, John Amato, has taught them about integrity, one player responded: “Do the right thing when no one is watching.”
School board vice president Charlie Anderson outlined his personal involvement with the district’s sports — including his children’s championships, coaching junior high teams, and watching the school win three state championship soccer games and a Long Island boys basketball championship game.
But, he said while fighting back tears, the seventh grade boys basketball team’s display of sportsmanship was “the proudest moment” he’s had with Mattituck athletics.
Miguel’s father, Marcos, said he’s proud to be a part of the community and described the joy his son felt after returning home from the game.
“He came home jumping and then he told me they lost but he was happy,” he said. “Everyone, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We all enjoy what is happening with Miguel and this team.”