WEDNESDAY: Sparkman player inspires teammates, fans as he finally gets in the game

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Sparkman fans cheer on Erik Daneri (Photo: Ryan Cody/WHNT News 19)

Start your day inspired!  Wednesday on WHNT News 19 This Morning, watch our story about a young man who refused to let autism get in the way of his hoop dreams.

“We need him like we need everybody else in our program,” said Sparkman High School basketball coach Jamie Coggins.

Erik Daneri has autism, and the game just moves a little too fast for him to play.  He loves the game though, and has ever since he was a child.

“Since he was itty bitty, trying to dunk with a Fisher Price hoop,” his parents told us.

Daneri keeps stats for the Senators.

“He’s one of us. And that’s how we treat Erik. He’s one of our family members,” said Coach Coggins.

Recently during Sparkman’s Senior Night, rather than just honor those who fill up the stat sheet, the coach wanted to honor the one who fills it out. Someone else would have to do that duty while Erik got to play.

Ryan Cody has this special story, A Winning Commitment, Wednesday on WHNT News 19 This Morning in the 6:30 a.m. half-hour.  If your mornings are busy or you can’t be in front of a tv, please set your DVR – you don’t want to miss this.

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