Dream comes true for student with autism when River Rouge basketball coach puts him in game

Chet Franklin Jr. joins Panthers on court

Chet Franklin Jr. has dreamed of playing on the River Rouge High School basketball team.

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – Chet Franklin Jr. has dreamed of playing on the River Rouge High School basketball team.

Franklin knows everything about the team, including every time the team won a state championship, but he is physically unable to play on the team.

But the senior who has autism got to experience his dream Tuesday night.

“I said, ‘Coach, I really want to play basketball for you,'" Franklin said.

When the Panthers were preparing to take on Allen Park Cabrini, Coach Lamonta Stone told Franklin to get dressed.

“I told CJ, ‘Go get dressed with the rest of the guys,’” Lamonta said.

Lamonta said Franklin’s eyes got wide when he found out he would be taking the court.

“I was kind of nervous. I was kind of nervous at this point,” Franklin said.

When Cabrini players realized what was happening, they passed the ball to River Rouge and Franklin got his shot.

“You know he missed a couple, so I’m like, ‘Scoot up,’” River Rouge guard Cortland Cochran said. “And he went left hand, right leg up in the air and he made the shot.”


About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.