TOOELE, UTAH (ABC 4 Utah) A high school basketball court is not a place where you generally see a lot of love. However, at Tooele High School - a simple gesture on the court is sending a far reaching message of love and respect.
When you attend a Tooele High School varsity basketball game, at home or away, you might witness a moment that will touch your heart. Sophomore Ace Hymas does something the home crowd is used to seeing, but no doubt, surprises visiting players and their fans. Just before tipoff he runs away from the action and toward his wheelchair bound father and gives him a hug. A couple of teammates follow in the brief pregame tradition. Then the game begins.
Chad Hymas was severely injured in an accident when Ace was just three years old. Chad was paralyzed from the waist down and was left with very limited use of his arms. However, that didn't stop him from making basketball a big part of his son's life. Ace says "I've loved the game since I was little. And he has coached me up all the waY. And even though he was in a wheelchair - it didn't make a difference - he was always there for me." And it wasn't just Ace. A lot of his friends, like Tyler Lawrence, also learned a lot about basketball from "Coach Hymas."I love the guy for everything he had done for us."
This all started last year, when Ace made the varsity team half way through the season. His dad was out of town at the time, however, he was able to make it back just a few minutes before the game began. A parent yelled at Ace to let him know his father was there. Chad described it by saying "Right before tipoff he came over, and he didn't expect me to be at the game, and he came over and gave me a hug and never stopped doing that after that."
Chad says "Every time they come do it - I am still humbled by it. These guys drop to my level. They are not above me - they drop to my level. It's amazing what happens when you put yourself at someone else's level and they do that in front of people at every game."
Ace calls it is a simple sign of respect. And says "They've (parents) done everything for you. The least you can do is show some respect."
But Chad says he is the one who respects his son and his teammates. "In my mind they are saying Coach Hymas, Chad or Mr. Hymas we have respect for you. And I'm thinking in my mind - you know what, I am the one who respects you." "They have the courage to stand out and do what they feel is right - regardless of the consequences. Regardless, they are going to do what is right."
Chad says the moment is brief, but he hopes it sends a message that parents and their children will remember for a long time. "I'm not looking for any honor out of it or any accolades. I hope parents go home and give their kids a hug. And I hope kids go home and are better children."
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