A special moment: ‘It means the world to all of us!’

Student manager with Down Syndrome connects -- twice -- from long distance, sparking celebration
The student manager of a high school basketball team in Jay County enjoyed a moment Tuesday night that he’ll remember forever.
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 7:21 PM EST
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JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA) - The student manager of a high school basketball team in Jay County enjoyed a moment Tuesday night that he’ll remember forever. In fact, you could say enjoyed two such moments.

Luke Vormohr hasn’t let Down Syndrome slow him down. He’s a key part of the Jay County High School boys basketball team, serving as a student manager. Tuesday, the school hosted the Winchester Golden Falcons in a late-season non-conference matchup.

Luke saw action early on, recording two points before leaving the game.

As the game progressed, the lead grew for the home Patriots; little doubt as to the outcome. And yet, the end of this contest was indeed special.

With time winding down, Coach Jerry Bomholt gave the word, and Luke was back in the game. A first shot from beyond the arc was off target -- short -- falling into the hands of a teammate, who quickly flung the ball back to Luke.

And his next shot sailed true.

Luke Vormohr cues up a 3-point shot for the Jay County Patriots.
Luke Vormohr cues up a 3-point shot for the Jay County Patriots.(Joseph Vormohr)

The 18-year-old pumped his arms in celebration, then urged on the crowd as he fell back into position on defense. But he wasn’t done just yet.

After a Golden Falcons turnover, the Patriots pushed the ball back up the court. Luke, in his #1 jersey, grabbed the bounce pass and didn’t hesitate for a second. His two-handed heave found the net -- again -- giving him eight points for the night and setting off a celebration on the court worthy of a conference championship.

“The band was going crazy, the fans were going crazy,” he said. “I just like it!”

Luke Vormohr is surrounded by teammates at the conclusion of Tuesday's 83-46 win over...
Luke Vormohr is surrounded by teammates at the conclusion of Tuesday's 83-46 win over Winchester Community High School.(Joseph Vormohr)

It might not be possible to pinpoint who was the most excited by Luke’s deadeye shots, but big brother Joseph could certainly make a case. He shared his pride on his Facebook page. He was there to watch it all unfold, calling it a “dream” and, he wrote, a “testament to our community and Luke’s coaches, teammates and friends!

“Thanks to the fans for their support. It means the world to Luke and all of us!”

Joseph spoke with anchor Krista Miller for Wednesday’s edition of ABC21 News at 7. He admits, as a boy, he didn’t know how to react to the arrival of a brother who was different.

“It really hit me hard, the idea that I was never going to be able to teach my younger brother to play football or throw the shot put, or do any of the things that we thought were normal,” he told us. “But he has spent his whole life teaching us, I think. And that’s been pretty cool.

“Luke has benefited by the community we live in. Jay County has been nothing but fantastic to Luke. Hopefully that serves as an example. It’s nice to see kindness in the world when it’s really needed.”

For the team, however, it’s just natural to rally around someone who brings so much to the gym each day.

“Having Luke on the team,” point guard Joshua Dowlen said, “he always brings a smile to your face. He makes everyone smile, and we just love having him around.”

Students swarm Luke Vormohr at the conclusion of Tuesday's game.
Students swarm Luke Vormohr at the conclusion of Tuesday's game.(Joseph Vormohr)

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