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High School Sports Heroes

Mitchell Marcus

Mitchell Marcus

Jonathan Montanez

Jonathan Montanez

Peter Morales

Peter Morales



Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013 6:00 pm
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Updated: 2:08 pm, Mon Dec 2, 2013.

High School Sports Heroes


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When the basketball teams from Coronado and Franklin High Schools faced off on the court last Feb. 12, few people could imagine the special significance of the meeting. For Coronado senior Mitchell Marcus and Franklin senior Jonathan Montanez, the final 13 seconds of the game would forever link the two.


Marcus, a special needs student who spent four years with the Coronado T-Birds as basketball manager, was put in the game in the final moments by head coach Peter Morales. That was when Montanez did something that no player would ever consider during a game – purposely passing the basketball to his opponent.

Once Montanez passed the ball to Marcus, the T-Birds fan favorite shot the ball and made a basket as the buzzer sounded. Nobody would remember the final score of 55-40 or that Coronado won that night. Instead, everyone talked about the night two West El Paso high schools put their rivalry aside for one very special basketball player.

It did not take long for the Marcus-Montanez story to go national. The two students, their parents and coach Morales were invited to Los Angeles and appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The story was also featured on ESPN SportsCenter and CBS News. While in Los Angeles, Marcus and Montanez attended a Clippers game and got to meet NBA superstars Chris Paul and Kevin Durant.

A few months ago, filmmaker Charlie Minn captured the story in a 90-minute documentary entitled “The Perfect Turnover.” The documentary’s preview fundraiser helped raise $200,000 for the El Paso Children’s Hospital.

© 2013 El Paso Inc.. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013 6:00 pm.

Updated: 2:08 pm.

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