Stephen Ellison

Buzzer-Beater Has Been a Game Changer For Boy With Autism

A last-second shot by a Livermore High School basketball player was getting a lot of attention Tuesday night.

The buzzer-beating shot by 15-year-old Robert Baswell didn’t win the game, but it has changed some people’s lives, including his. Robert, who has autism can’t stop watching his highlight reel heroics.

Robert dribbled the length of the court for the Livermore Cowboys, using one hand then the other. Then, as the seconds ticked away, he shot the ball -- and missed. But Robert had time for one more attempt and made it count at the buzzer.

"Everyone was cheering for me, the whole entire gym," Robert said. "And until everyone gathered up on me, even the people in the bleachers ... I just sat there and teared up, and my reaction was, I can’t believe this."

Leti Baswell, Robert’s mother, said that's when the changes began.

"It’s really brought out more conversation with him, he feels more confident," she said about her son. "There’s more eye contact. I think he just feels more ingrained in society."

Livermore freshman coach Steve Syth said Robert, who’s also the team manager, absolutely earned his moment in the spotlight.

"The way he handled himself out there on the court, I thought that was most impressive thing," Syth said. "He worked just as hard those guys, if not longer. Like I said, he’s the one who didn’t miss practice, he was the only one that was there. He had one of the better shots on the team."

As the video circulated on social media, other parents of children with autism found inspiration from Robert.

"When it went viral, there were a lot of parents ... with children with special needs, they were tagging other parents with special needs (children), saying, 'See, this can be done; this brings hope,'" Leti Baswell said.

Robert loves reliving the moment, time and again, even though he may not realize just how much he really did.

Contact Us