Autistic student gets 'dream weekend' with Tarheels thanks to high school

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Meet Kevin Josey-- he’s a senior at North Iredell High School. He may have autism, but that doesn’t stop him from being a friend and an inspiration.

“His spirit is amazing. He never has a bad day,” said Krissy Daniels, who works at North Iredell High School.

Daniels is the school’s receptionist and one of Kevin’s closest friends.

“I think anyone who looks at him and meets him and you can just the moment you meet him you know that you’re going to be a better person. He’s very joyful and kind hearted,” Daniels said.

When classmates gathered for an assembly Friday, Kevin knew something was up, he just wasn’t sure what. A friendly basketball competition between his team and the school staff precipitated the big surprise he had coming. 

Thanks to the efforts of classmates, the community, and wish granting organization Dream on Three, Kevin is getting the ultimate basketball weekend with his favorite team– the Carolina Tarheels.

“Kevin is exactly what a coach wants his team to personify.  His spirit, his passion, his motivation, and dedication is exactly what you want your team to see,” North Iredell basketball coach Josh Saunders said.

Saunders is one of Kevin’s teachers, who also keeps him involved in the school’s basketball team.

“When he puts his jersey on and says ‘wow, this is a dream,’ that’s what you want all fifteen of your kids to say when they put their jersey on,” said Saunders.

Sending Kevin on his dream trip was a school and community effort.  A local McDonald’s hosted a spirit night to help fundraise.

 “His energy that comes across… it’s like when we have our shirt’s on he always said ‘matching’ and we always dance.  And, we played some basketball actually in the store that evening we had our homemade basketball goal, so the spirit night.  It was fantastic,” said Melissa Neader, owner of the McDonald’s where the fundraiser was held.

With family by his side, Kevin left immediately for his dream weekend. He will meet Carolina Coach Roy Williams, shoot hoops with the players and have VIP seats at Saturday’s game.

105.9 WSIC contributed to this report.