Storified by Digital First Media· Thu, Jan 24 2013 17:11:56
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- Eighth-grader Owen Groesseralways knew he had what it takes to be a superstar and that's what he hasbecome.
Owen, who has Down syndrome, became famous overnightafter making two three-point shots in a basketball game for his middleschool team, the Van Hoosen Vikings.
In less than 24 hours, the story has gained attentionfrom everyone from local media to ESPN to "Good Morning, America." His parents,Kari and Chris, never expected the sudden fame, but neither of them weresurprised that 13-year-old Owen made the shots.
"We did not expect this, a very nice surprise, but we hadno expectations," Kari said.
"We weren't surprised he made the shots, we're justgrateful he had the opportunity to do it," Chris said.
Owen knew he had it in him. "Being famous is good, and Iknow that I am cool," Owen said. "... I am excited, I am. And today (Thursday), this is the lastgame and it's really, really fun. My team is good."
This was the first time Owen had played this season, buthe has an active role as the team's manager.
His mom said: "Becauseof basketball at Van Hoosen, it's a cut-sport, so there's 15 spots. Duringcurriculum night, I had gone over to coach (Jeff) Howell and I said 'It's acut-sport, but is there any way Owen could be the manager?' And he was great andhe said "Do you know how many kids are asking to be my manager? For Owen, it'shis.' "
Owen practices with the team and is fully dedicated toit. He has never missed a single practice.
"Last week, when I picked him up from practice, the twoof them (Owen and Howell) were walking toward the car with a grin on their facelike the cat that swallowed the canary and I'm thinking 'Oh no, what happened' and(Howell) goes 'Hey, we're going to suit him up next week,' " Kari said.
Basketball is something Owen has always loved. Hisfavorite teams are the Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat. He also loves MichiganState basketball.
The idea of playing the game was "the thrill of (Owen's)life," Kari said. The team even came up with a play they called "The Owen,"which they practiced for a week. "(Theshots were) the last two minutes before halftime, and there they were, they did'The Owen,' " Kari said.
Owen's three sisters, Madi, 15; Lily, 12; and Ella, 9,have also expressed how excited they are for their brother. They all had their rolesin creating attention surrounding the two shots.
During the game, Lily shot the video that has gone viral onthe Web. The video would end up airing nationally on ESPN's SportsCenter. Chrisalso put up a video on YouTube called "Owen's Big Game," featuring the shots.
"A lot of people were videotaping it, I guess," Lilysaid. "... I'm kind of happy I got it. I wasn't trying to get it all over, butI guess it did (go viral)."
Following the game, Madi helped start the hashtag #GetOwenOnSportsCenteron Twitter.
"I was sitting at home doing homework and my phonestarted going off," Madi said. "And I was like 'What?' " and I looked onTwitter and some eighth-graders were like 'Get Owen On SportsCenter' and then Ijoined in. Then we got everyone joining in and then it got trending -- it was cool."
"A cool piece of the story is that they have a second, orthird cousin at Ferris (State University) that saw it and she put out the tweetand it somehow it ended up with RG3 (Robert Griffin III), quarterback for the Redskins and then he responded and then it reallytook off," Chris said.
The family did not know how far Owen's story really wentuntil Thursday morning. "We were actually out at a surprise party, that was(Wednesday) night," Kari said. "We literally came home from the game, droppedthe kids off and left, so we had no idea any of this was going on. Madi called Chrisand said 'Dad, this is going crazy and there's talk of Owen being onSportsCenter."
When the couple returned home, they began receiving textmessages late Wednesday evening that Owen would be on the local news.
That's when Kari and Chris found out Owen was onSportsCenter, and he was No. 10 on the show's Top Plays list. Being late, Owenwas already asleep, so they opted to show him in the morning.
"They had Lily's video from the shots, from her iPod, andthey were just playing it," Kari said. "... At the end, the one gentleman, you couldhear him say 'This needs to be number one.' "
The next morning when they woke up, SportsCenter had Owenas No. 1. Since being No. 1 on SportsCenter, he has done a live interview withESPN and been featured in the national media.
Owen said everyone at school is telling him what a goodjob he has done, giving him high-fives and everyone knows who he is, whichmakes him feel good.
Owen's advice for success is "never give up and keepgoing forward." And that's what he said he will continue to do.