Something groundbreaking went down in Kent, Ohio last night. Kalin Bennett, a 6-11, 300-pound center from Little Rock, became the first basketball player with autism to both sign a letter of intent with a D-1 program and also get on the floor. Late in the Golden Flashes' win over Hiram College, Bennett powered to the rim for a jump hook, scoring his first two points of the season.
Bennett also grabbed two rebounds off of the bench in six minutes, in what was a 97-58 win for the Flashes. The MAC Center could barely contain itself after Bennett's first minutes, as the student section erupted in cheers every time he grabbed a rebound.
Bennett deserves all the praise in the world. Hopefully his actions and impressive play on the court can help destroy the stigma around autistic athletes and lead to more players with autism to suit up on D-1 courts all over the country.