76ers Recognize Pennfield Middle School Student, Coach and Teammates at Autism Inclusion Night

Shayne Farmer.

Pennfield Middle School basketball sensation Shayne Farmer and his teammates, manager and coach Mr. Matt Scott were recently honored by the Philadelphia 76ers at a home game in celebration of Autism Inclusion Night.

On Thursday, March 28 at their game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Sixers recognized Shayne Farmer as the "Strong Kid of the Game." Shayne was diagnosed with autism at an early age and loves basketball. This year, he tried out and made the ninth grade basketball team at Pennfield Middle School.Shayne and coach.

Despite living with an autism spectrum disorder, Shayne has dedicated himself to excelling on the court alongside his teammates through his personal motto, "Autism doesn' t mean you can' t; it means you can, but you might have to work a little harder than everyone else"

Before the Pennfield ninth grade basketball team' s final game of the season, Shayne delivered a speech to his teammates thanking them for a great season. Little did Shayne know, his words of gratitude were captured on video by North Penn High School Special Education teacher and Pennfield Basketball Coach Matt Scott, and that video ended up in some pretty spectacular hands.

Shortly after, Matt Scott was contacted by a representative from the 76ers who explained that he had seen the video. Touched and inspired by its content, the Sixers wanted to recognize Mr. Scott, Shayne and the entire ninth grade basketball team at Pennfield with a memorable experience.

Representing Pennfield Middle School, the North Penn School District and North Penn Athletics, the team traveled to the Wells Fargo Center on Autism Inclusion Night. Prior to tipoff, Shayne was recognized as the 76ers "Strong Kid of the Game" presented by Rothenberg Law Firm and was surprised by T.J. McConnell with his own personalized 76ers jersey.

 Matt Scott.

While Shayne' s determination to the sport of basketball has assisted with him excelling on the court, so to has his head coach Matt Scott. A teacher and basketball coach for more than 20 years, Matt, along with his players who were all on-hand to celebrate this special night, have helped create an inclusive environment that allows Shayne to just be another member of the team. For his continued efforts, Matt was named the night' s "Community Champion" presented by NJM Insurance.

Matt Scott attributes the strong inclusive environment on the court at Pennfield to Shayne, his 12 teammates and the team manager. "These kids made my job easy," Scott said. "Shayne' s teammates never had to be told how to treat him or behave around him, he was simply part of the team. They made Shayne work hard every day at practice, constantly competing with him and pushing him, making him the best basketball player he could be"

Members of the ninth grade boys' basketball team at Pennfield include Gerrel Lee, Trea Crawford, Dhruv Modi, Nicholas Sava, Shayne Farmer, T.J. Lemon, Nicholas DiPippo, Jordan Ramirez, Judah James, Jeremy Gamble, C.J. Puia, Marob Willis and Billy Homony with Rylee Hayden serving as the team manager.

"These students understood all of this because of the environment fostered by the progressive thinking and inclusive practices of the North Penn School District," said Scott.

Congratulations to Shayne Farmer, Matt Scott and the entire Pennfield Ninth Grade Boys' Basketball Team for their exemplary behavior and attitude towards inclusion and teamwork.

Pennfield 9th Grade Boys' Basketball Team. Pennfield 9th Grade Boys' Basketball Team.