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 Home > News & Policies > March 2006

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 14, 2006

President's Remarks Upon Arrival in Rochester, New York
Greater Rochester International Airport
Rochester, New York

10:50 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, it's great to be here in upstate New York. As you can see, a special person has greeted me at the airport.

Jason, mind if I call you J-Mac?

JASON McELWAIN: Yeah. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I'll call him J-Mac. You can call me George W. (Laughter.)

President George W. Bush greets Greece Athena High School senior, Jason McElwain and McElwain's mother, Debbie, upon arriving in Rochester, New York Tuesday, March 14, 2006. After serving as the team's manager McElwain, who is autistic, was called on to play during the team's last game of the season. McElwain became a local hero after he sank six 3-point shots during the last moments of his first ever varsity basketball game. White House photo by Kimberlee Hewitt But our country was captivated by your amazing story on the basketball court. I think it's a story of Coach Johnson's willingness to give a person a chance. It's a story of Dave and Debbie's deep love for their son, and it's a story of a young man who found his touch on the basketball court, which in turn, touched the hearts of citizens all across the country.

So I want to thank you for being here. You probably didn't realize the impact you were going to have on people all across America and around the world when you made those six 3's. I've kind of gotten off the courts these days because I'm getting old, but if I got back on the courts, I'd need a lesson -- (laughter) -- on how to rotate that ball. But let me have that -- (holding up a sign with Jason's picture on it) -- kind of looks like you.

Anyway, thank you all for coming. God bless. I appreciate the wonderful story that's come out of your family.

Q Mr. President, how did you hear about the story and what's your reaction?

THE PRESIDENT: Saw it on TV. Saw it on TV and I wept, just like a lot of other people. It's just one of those stories that touched a lot of people's hearts.

Q Did somebody play it for you, or did you just see it?

THE PRESIDENT: I can't remember exactly how it happened. Probably somebody played it for me, you know, being the President and all. But it's a wonderful tale.

God bless.

END 10:52 A.M. EST