Salem, Ind. teen launches online campaign to get Bailey to SportsCenter
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's the hashtag that's gone worldwide, and it started in Salem, Ind.
Today, WDRB's Gilbert Corsey spoke with the young man who launched a movement on Twitter to get Bailey to SportsCenter.
Bailey Hamilton suffers from a progressive form of muscular dystrophy that, over the years, has forced him into a wheelchair.
"In about 6th grade I seen him in the hallways," said Noah Greenlee. "He needed help getting something out of his locker, so I went over there and we started talking, and ever since then we've been best friends."
This is a story about the power of a true friendship and what happened when it hit social media.
"Late Wednesday night I Tweeted...I wonder what would happen if I started a trend: #getbaileytosportscenter," Greenlee said.
Noah Greenlee's tweet went viral: shared, mentioned and retweeted more than 200,000 times.
Hamilton is quick to support his friend. You'll often find him on the sidelines cheering for Noah as an honorary member of the Salem Lions high school football team. Even though Bailey can't compete, his lifelong dream is to be featured on SportsCenter.
"I personally didn't think it would get anywhere, but I guess it got everywhere," Greenlee said.
Greenlee's classmates are equally surprised.
"I didn't think small-town teenagers from Salem could do this, but it's crazy what we can do," said Treasure Hurst, a senior at Salem High School.
Even congressmen are taking notice. Noah's tweet launched a campaign that picked up some big-name backers.
"Tom Crean...Christian Watford," Greenlee said, reading off names.
And even though they haven't called, ESPN is taking note.
"College GameDay Kirk Herbstreit, I think, retweeted it, and then Linda Cohn retweeted it," Greenlee said.
Bailey had no idea Noah had sent the tweet. The high school junior shies away from the spotlight and has turned down all interviews.
"He appreciates it, but he doesn't like all the attention on him," Greenlee said. "He told me to tell people thanks for appreciating him," Greenlee said.
But rest assured that if SportsCenter comes calling, Noah says his buddy Bailey will be there.
"I'll be surprised it actually worked," Greenlee said.
WDRB's Gilbert Corsey talked to ESPN today about Bailey's big dream. A representative sent an email back saying the news desk is aware of the story and if they chose to pursue it, they would follow up in the community.
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