Hopkins, SC (WLTX) - Hopkins Middle School students are celebrating after they won the Boys Richland District One Championship game.
During their undefeated season, one player has inspired the team in their quest to the championship.
"It's the championship game; it's time for me to show out," said 13 year-old Carl Washington.
With a championship game on the line, players at Hopkins Middle School say they are confident.
"Hopkins Middle is the best team," said Washington.
The undefeated team is led by the most unlikely of characters. He can easily be lost in a crowd and doesn't light up the stat book, but there is no argument about how big his heart is.
"Carl made it to age 13; Carl is a blessing," said Tia Sumter.
For Carl, doctors told his mother that he would not live past five years old. He battles a type of dwarfism that attacks his growth and immune system.
"They said Carl was not going to walk, they said he was not going to do this or do that, but look at my child now, only God has the say so," said Sumter.
Carl love's sports but his condition has kept him from doing what he loves to do...until last year.
The coaches at Hopkins Middle School let Carl on the team... And it has changed, his teammate's lives forever.
"When I first went to a game, to see my child play, I cried," said Sumter.
He doesn't get a lot of playing time but when he does, he makes a lasting memory.
Carl know that he is limited but believes that he can play basketball just like any other kid. He says he is thankful to his coach for the opportunity.
"He does everything; he is the best coach ever," said Washington.
During the Championship game, Coach put Carl in with 2 minutes left and Carl scored two points.
Despite his constant challenges, his mother says Carl is the light of her life.
"That's a blessing child that God gave to me," said Sumter.
The team went on to win the Richland District One Middle School Boys Championship game, 49-12.