For the first time in four years, the Charlotte Bobcats have clinched a playoff spot. It's a big turnaround for the team. They've made it through a lot of coaches and a lot of losing records.
We've heard team captain Gerald Henderson talk about meaningful basketball, and how it feels good to finally be a contender.
"That's what you play for, to try and win a championship," he told WBTV's Sharon Smith.
Monday, he also spoke about a different kind of meaningful basketball. We watched it play out at the Carole Hoefner Center in uptown as the Bobcats partnered with Special Olympics.
"I'm enjoying it and I love it so much," said 14-year-old Jason Toot. He is one of the Special Olympians who came to hang out with the team.
The players work on basic skills with the Special Olympians, like shooting and defense.
Jason sees potential. "I think the Bobcats will win their first playoff game. They've got energy," he said.
It seems the rest of the fan base is getting more energized too. The cheap seats through Ticketmaster are going fast for the first playoff game.
It takes determination to make it this far. Joyce Shamberger has seen it with her own son, who is a Special Olympian. Lawrence loves basketball, and therefore the team, she said.
"My hope is that they go all the way," she said.
If the Bobcats could just bottle what we witnessed with the Special Olympians, they could go all the way. Playoffs are good, but this is great.
When Jason learned that Gerald Henderson said he loved being here with kids like him, Jason replied, "Aw, I can tell. I can tell the players love being here with us, they show a lot of passion and love."