Nfld. & Labrador

Do it for Daniel: Broken leg doesn't slow down the Beaconsfield Saxon

Daniel O'Brien already had 20 points as he drove to the basket hoping to add two more when something went terribly wrong.

Grade 8 boys team watched teammate fall, dedicated tournament win to him

Daniel O'Brien, left, and Liam Belec-Rice show off a cast and their championship medals.

Daniel O'Brien already had 20 points when he drove the lane towards the basket, hoping to add two more, when something went terribly wrong. 

The 13-year-old basketball player fell and broke his tibia and fibula bones, in two separate spots, and sent his mother running towards him while someone called 911. 

"I was on the floor for a solid 30 minutes," O'Brien said.

Paramedics tended to the young man's leg as his teammates watched at the St. Kevin's gym earlier this month. 

O'Brien was rushed to the Janeway Children's Hospital in St. John's while the rest of the Beaconsfield Saxons Grade 8 basketball team finished the last four minutes of the game in the 'C' East Coast provincials. 

While O'Brien's leg was broken, the spirt of his Saxons was not. The team rallied around the injury and earned a spot in the semifinal.

"That's when it kind of started to get scary because we're all kind of losing momentum," said teammate Liam Belec-Rice. During the semi-final, the team called a timeout to refocus on their goal.

The Beaconsfield Grade 8 boys' basketball team show off their 'C' championship banner moments before bringing it to their fallen teammate. (Submitted)

"We just kind of thought about Daniel and how badly he probably wanted us to win this. So we just all gathered our thoughts and our energy and we had to push through."

'Do it for Daniel' became the team's rallying cry as they pushed forward towards the final. While his team was winning games, O'Brien was having his leg set into a cast stretching from his ankle to his mid-thigh. 

Beaconsfield eventually won the 'C' East Coast provincial title.

"I was really happy for the entire team and all my friends on the team," O'Brien said. 

Daniel O'Brien and his teammates take a celebratory selfie after winning the provincial banner. (Submitted by Daniel O'Brien)

But the boys from Beaconsfield didn't just collect their championship banner and go home; they had their parents drive them to O'Brien's house, making sure he could share in the victory as well. 

"Just to see the reaction on Daniel's face signing the banner … it was really something," Belec-Rice said.

Being surrounded by his friends, celebrating the win, certainly helped eased the pain on O'Brien's leg.

"It was really nice to see all of them see all of them and to be there to support me and help me," said O'Brien.

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