Wellington boys basketball manager sinks unforgettable shot on Senior Night

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:43 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Day in and day out, Wellington senior basketball manager Rayce Koerner shows up to practice ready to support and encourage his team.

“The reason why I like doing it is because I just like helping people and helping them reach their life goals and sports goals,” Koerner said.

It’s a role he proudly took on in sixth grade as a teen with autism. Managing both the Wellington football and basketball teams allowed him to make friends and get more involved at school.

“He’s arguably the most loved person at this school, you talk to him once and you got a friend for life,” Wellington Head Basketball Coach Joe Newman said. “All of these kids grew up with him and they know what he’s like and they see what he does for every team and he’s just the ultimate team guy.”

After years of hard work on the sidelines, Koerner got a chance to shine on the court when Newman put him in on senior night last Friday against Mulvane.

“It meant everything to me, it was one of the most exciting and memorable moments of my life,” he said.

In the final minute, he knocked down a three in front of an entire gym cheering him on.

“When I let the ball go it was just mind blowing when it went in and my friends and family and people from Mulvane gave me high fives and said how amazing that was,” Koerner said. “I just can’t thank them enough.”

It was an unforgettable moment, for an unforgettable manager.

“He’s an incredible human being, a kind spirit and an awesome kid,” Newman said. “We will miss him like no other when he’s gone.”

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