NEWVILLE, Pa. — Senior night is a time to celebrate the hard work and dedication student-athletes put in. Big Spring boys basketball planned their senior night in a special way, honoring a late teammate.
It’s a night one former bulldog always looked forward to celebrating.
“all the senior nights he watched, he couldn’t wait," said Jennifer Kuhn, JT Kuhn's mom.
Three of his teammates escorted out onto the court by their families with a fourth player, represented by his parents.
Holding back tears, the parents of Jonathan "JT" Thomas Kuhn, walked hand in hand honoring what would have been their son JT’s senior basketball season at Big Spring.
“It kind of hit us when the boys came walking down the hallway and Jonathan wasn’t there. That was tough but we were happy to be there for the other boys because we’re all like family," said Toby Kuhn, JT's dad.
JT would play basketball for hours, even a little one-on-one with his dad. He was just 16-years-old when he passed away in March of 2019. The 6-5 student-athlete was a competitor on the court, helping the bulldogs reach the District III playoffs for the first time and had compassion off to help others, as his infectious smile lit up any room.
“He was as great kid. Great basketball player and always had a smile on his face. We try to remind our guys every day, when you wake up, and you think your day is rough. You have to put a smile on your face and be thankful you have another day," said Jason Creek, Big Spring head basketball coach.
Even though they're one of their toughest opponents, Big Spring fittingly planned their senior night against Northern York. A polar bears player, Nathan McGill played AAU with JT and presented his parents with a Northern jersey with JT’s number.
“It’s something I’ll never forget and will hang in a special spot in his room," said Jennifer.
The first minute of the game, the bulldogs played with a missing man. Just four players on the court in honor of JT.
A memorial fund has been established to help players planning to pursue their education. You can find the link here.