RHINELANDER - Thursday night, the Hodag boys basketball team earned a 23-point victory over Tomahawk.
The real story is a young man who is very special to the Hodag players and coaches got a rare opportunity.
David Pokrandt is a manager for the team. He normally gets water and towels for the players. He found out he was in the lineup and going to play. He was very excited. He was handed a uniform. He sufferes from some learning diabilities including cognitive disability and A-D-H-D.
Late in the game, David checked in. He is #32 in the video.
He missed the first two shots. But the last one he drained it. The crowd is standing cheering him on.
Even some of the Tomahawk players congratulated him.
It was a special night for David and the team.
"It was pretty cool," Pokrandt said. "When I got out there and made the shot, I went berserk."
"He has played basketball as a freshman and eighth grade," Hodags basketball coach David Lemmens explains. "He has been a manager for the last three years. We felt he deserved this and we wanted to give him the opportunity."
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Police Department identified the man who died after a house fire on Friday night as 35-year-old Jeffery J. Becker.
Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams told Newswatch 12 on Monday afternoon that an autopsy indicates Becker died from smoke inhalation, but the autopsy results and further investigation is now in the hands of the state Department of Criminal Investigations.
Crews responded to the house at 320 Rose Street, near Hodag Park, around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found Becker unresponsive on the floor. Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive Becker, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
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