The shot of a lifetime

An Action News Special Report
January 28, 2008 9:20:53 PM PST
A remarkable young athlete has developed a big following.

At first glance, it was just your run of the mill three-pointer in a high school hoops game.

"He comes down with three seconds to go and makes the final shot. It was an amazing shot," said his dad, Bob Hennefer.

And then you notice, the coach on the opposing team came over to shake the Brad Hennefer's hand.

"It was unbelievable. He got a standing ovation," said John Valore, Cherry Hill East coach.

This shot was different. This shot was Brad Hennefer's first-ever Varsity basket. This shot was something that was never supposed to be in the cards.

"I'm a very good shooter, good behind the black lines," said Brad.

Life has been tough from the beginning for Brad. Born with Down Syndrome, nothing comes easy or guaranteed.

"We had no idea about Down Syndrome. We had mixed emotions," said his dad.

What he did, since the tender age of three, was turn to sports. Now a senior at Cherry Hill East, he has played four years of high school basketball.

"Being part of a team is always a kids dream. It has been great for him," said Bob Hennefer.

"His reaction to the excitement of it all just adds a catalyst to the rest of the players and makes them go harder, work harder," said Valore.

"All the kids in basketball, they look at me and are proud of me," said Brad.

Basketball is not even Brad's best sport. He is thought to be the only kid with Down Syndrome in the country to earn a varsity letter in two sports -- basketball and golf.

Brad is set to graduate this year. He has big plans.

"After high school, I'll go to Camden County College work on business and computers," said Brad.

And wherever life takes him, he'll always have that shot. It's proof that sometimes the biggest triumphs come in the smallest of victories.

His teammates call him B-Rad. The Hennefer family has started a foundation, Golf for Life, in which they travel the country and put on golf clinics for kids with Down Syndrome. For more information on the foundation, visit