Owen Groesser and his mom Kari Groesser are on The Palin Radio Update with Kevin Scholla! Owen, a Michigan eighth grader with Down Syndrome became an overnight sensation when he knocked down two three-pointers for his junior high basketball team. His feat landed him on SportsCenter and caught the attention of Governor Sarah Palin. Now, ESPN is doing a lengthy feature on Owen and he even got to meet his favorite Detroit Pistons up close and personal. Tune in to hear Owen’s inspiring story. Meantime, another young man with Down Syndrome is named Prom King in Alaska. Gov. Palin recognizes the newest Alaska Air National Guard members, joins Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in the fight against child abuse, and chides the media for more lies and some ridiculous claims about our children. Also, some spring snow hits Alaska, Governor Palin praises Kirsten Powers for writing about the Kermit Gosnell house of horrors, and questions the priorities of the Obama regime. As Willow Palin graduates, her proud mom offers some advice. Plus, Sarah Palin remembers Holocaust victims and one of her heroes, Margaret Thatcher. Steel Resolve, our weekly commentary with Sarah Steelman is featured as well.
Gov. Palin Cheers Owen Groesser
Back in January, Owen Groesser “converted on two long-range bombs” when he was pulled off the bench and brought into play. “Thanks to Gov. Palin and others the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportsCenter made the rounds and eventually, Owen was featured on ESPN.” The former Alaska Governor posted a Facebook Status Update cheering Groesser on January 24, followed by a complete video of Groesser’s two three-pointers.
The Detroit Pistons hosted Groesser; he took the court with head coach Lawrence Frank, sat in press row and much more. He is set for a second feature on ESPN, Scholla said. “How did it feel to play and to score?” he asked. “Good and fun,” Groesser said.
Coach Hall Makes First Dream Come True
“He was the actual manager of the basketball team,” Kari Groesser said. “One day I went to pick him up from practice and he walked to the car with the coach, and I’m thinking, ‘oh no! What did he do?’ They both had this grin on their faces and Coach Jeff Hall comes up and says, ‘hey, we want to suit up Owen for the last home game of the season. What do you think?’” She continued, “I’m thrilled, I’m excited, because I know for Owen that has been his dream. At our school, basketball is a cut sport. For him to be the manager is one thing. For him to put on the uniform and get out and play was certainly another.”
Gov. Palin Makes Impossible Dreams Become Reality
While Coach Hall made the first dream come true, Gov. Palin made many more a reality. Scholla asked, “What was your reaction to Sarah Palin recognizing your son?”
Kari Groesser said, “we couldn’t believe it. You know, the night that it happened, we went to the game. We had a surprise party to go to. So, literally, we dropped our kids off and said, ‘okay, get your homework done, take your showers, and get off to bed.’ My husband and I were at a restaurant and all of a sudden we started getting these text messages like, ‘this has gone viral,’ ‘he is going to be on the news,’ ‘he is going to be on SportsCenter,’ and my husband and I were kind of chuckling and laughing and going, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah — okay.’”
She continued, “Well, then all of a sudden we get home and there he was. He was on the local news and of course that night he was on SportsCenter, and again the next morning on SportsCenter and then when you figure it out and start talking…Sarah Palin and some of these sports figures had reached out, it just was crazy, and we just sat back in awe, kind of like, ‘is this really happening?’ It’s been a really great journey for Owen and for everybody.”
Groesser’s Night with the Pistons
Scholla asked Owen about his night at the Pistons game. “It was my night,” he said. Kari Groesser added, “I have to say, we showed up and they kind of took him away. He got to do everything the Pistons were doing. He was out on the court with them; he was throwing chest passes. He was with the team before the game; he walked onto the floor with the coach. He even sat with the team during the game and then even after the game, he went back into the locker room, so that was a young man’s dream come true.”
Inclusion, ESPN E:60
Scholla said Owen was good luck for the Pistons, having beat his favored Bulls that night, breaking an 18-game winning streak. “It was a great night,” Kari Groesser said twice. “They just embraced him. Since this has all happened our entire community has embraced him, and we are fortunate to be in a school system that has inclusion so, Owen has always been just one of the guys in every classroom. He has grown up with this community. It’s been great for everyone.”
She said ESPN is doing an E:60 segment on him. It will involve eight days of shooting and air at the end of April, possibly the beginning of May.
Owen is Simply Owen
Scholla asked “what has Owen meant to you and your family on this? He’s really brought people together it seems.” Owen has three sisters, one of whom is older. “They’re typical siblings. They have their good days and bad days,” his mother said. Owen is already well-known in the community even affectionately being called “mayor.” But Kari Groesser said “he walks a little taller and with more confidence now. He talks to everybody; he’s not a shy guy anymore, so in that respect this whole experience has been wonderful for him.”
Scholla quoted Piper Palin as being glad she “doesn’t have a ‘normal’ brother because it would be boring.” For his family and friends, Owen is simply Owen.
Owen Groesser: Basketball, Football, Wrestling, Track
“When I think back about Owen and all of his accomplishments, it’s just been a wonderful journey for him. He not only plays basketball, but he played on the football team,” has been on the wrestling team and is running track for the junior high Kari Groesser said. “He’s always been in sports, has always been very dynamic and athletic.” When raising Owen, Kari Groesser said she never thought of Owen as being “the son with special needs.” He’s always been the brother, he’s always been my son. She said she’s put him in situations that tested him — “I hate to say this — threw him to the wolves to see what he could do and he’s always thrived.”
Owen’s favorite basketball player is Brandon Knight, who plays for the Pistons. Second to basketball, track is Owen’s favorite sport.
Steve Kerr was one of Scholla’s favorite long-range shooters before he became an announcer, and Craig Hodges before him. Owen is his new favorite and he said he is partial to the three-point assassins.
Steel Resolve: The Republican Party’s Margaret Thatcher?
“Why don’t the Republicans have a Margaret Thatcher?” Steelman asked as she opened her weekly Steel Resolve segment. “This is a question I’ve pondered all week and I’m still not quite sure of the answer. It appears that she had three things going for her as a female conservative in a man’s world.” Steelman continued,
“First of all, intellectually she had a deep and cultivated understanding of why conservative principles work to the benefit of all. She didn’t pay lip service to her beliefs or use talking points to regurgitate the same old political rhetoric. She could stand in Parliament and easily defend conservatism against the arguments of the Labour Party as to why her policies would return England to prosperity and lift all citizens. She could easily communicate that to the public without becoming wobbly.”
“Secondly, she was empathetic and compassionate to people. Her understanding and caring about individuals was real and credible, partially because of her background from a working class family. Her father was a grocer who showed and taught her the value of hard work not just to get ahead or get a job, but because it enhanced her self-worth and self-respect. She understood how important that sense of fulfillment was to individuals.”
“Thirdly, she had an impressive, credentialed education, which for female politicians seems to be a prerequisite in order to be taken seriously. She received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Oxford and eventually became a lawyer. In short — for a female conservative in the States to propel herself past the entrenched establishment Republicans to become a leader or President, she needs to learn the secrets of Margaret Thatcher’s success. Let’s go girls.”
Ed. Note: The Republicans do have their Margaret Thatcher or as we more commonly refer to her by analogy, Ronald Reagan. They just don’t want to recognize Her.
Complete Audio Transcript of Interview with Owen, Kari Groesser
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