The crowd was hoping to see Jason get his chance that night.
Greece Athena students, who affectionately called him “J-Mac,”
had made cardboard cutouts of Jason’s face, and they erupted
when Johnson put him in the game. The crowd went berserk
when Jason made that first basket, sports, sport in USA,
sports in the world and it got crazier with every shot that went in.
When the final buzzer sounded, his fellow students rushed
the floor and carried J-Mac off the court.
A month later, President George W. Bush made a special
stop near Rochester just so he could meet McElwain.
Bush told reporters, “As you can see, a special person
has greeted us at the airport, Jason,” and then jokingly asked,
“Can I call you J-Mac?” Bush then got serious.
“Our country was captivated by an amazing story,”
said Bush. “It’s the story of a young man who found his
touch on the basketball court, which, in turn, touched the hearts
of citizens all around the country.” Bush admitted that when he saw
the story on TV, he wept, “just like a lot of other people did.”
The next step in the evolution of Boise State football is
marked by the groundbreaking on the $36 million
sky suite/press box addition to Bronco Stadium.
The project included a state-of-the-art press box, 38 luxury suites,
44 loge boxes and 750 club seats, with all but about 200 of the club
seats already sold before the first dirt was turned.
If not the biggest milestone in Bronco Stadium history,
it was certainly the most expensive. It would be named
the Stueckle Sky Center after Duane and Lori Steuckle,
two of the Broncos’ most prominent benefactors.
The ceremony came just more than six weeks after the
Broncos had upset Oklahoma 43-42 in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl,
and the program was flush with momentum.
The old press box, designed with Division II football in mind,
was torn down, and a temporary wooden structure was built to
get through the 2007 season (affectionately called the “Bronco Treehouse”).
The Stueckle Sky Center opened in August, 2008, coinciding
with the first game of superstar Kellen Moore’s Boise State career.