LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — An eighth-grader at a Lexington middle school is making a big name for himself both on the basketball court and off, inspiring others and warming hearts while doing it.
There are very few things in life that matter more to eighth-grader Ty Kerrick than basketball.
"I just love it, man. I love the NBA. I love everything," said Kerrick.
His love for basketball led him to spend three years as team manager for his middle school, Jessie Clark's basketball team. If you ask his teammates they'll tell you he's more than just a manager for them.
That's why teammate Clay Noble knew he could count on him to slash the opening shot in the net in Kerrick's first game playing with the team.
"I got it off the tip. I dribbled over to him, I handed it to him. I knew he was gone make it because he always makes it," said Noble.
He was right.
Kerrick made the shot. As it turns out, he's automatic in the layup line.
"People tell me, 'Oh, you not allowed to be in the NBA. You not gone play in the league, blah blah blah, but here I am now,'" said Kerrick.
He got the loudest cheer of the night.
"I was happy because my mom and dad were there," said Kerrick.
His coach Mike Allen says Kerrick's relationship with his team birthed the idea.
"Our guys said you know what coach, he's a part of the team so we wanted him to have his moment that night as well," said Allen.
From watching him play, Kerrick has a confidence and a swag you just can't buy. He has a special handshake for his teammates and like a bank, his shot is nothing but money. And he makes sure to shout "money" as it goes in the register.
Kerrick has mitochondrial myopathy, a disease that causes low muscle tone and affects all his muscles but has never let that stop him.
"I mean I want to be an inspiration," said Kerrick.
His teammates say he already is.