Joshua Ryan Titus, an autistic man from Maine who inspired people nationwide with his performance in a high school basketball game seven years ago, has died following a reported battle with cancer, according to a funeral home death announcement. He was 25.
Titus made headlines seven years ago, when he entered Edward Little High’s final home basketball game of the season and scored nine points, according to The Portland Press Herald.
He was later honored with a Spirit of the Game award at the Maine McDonald’s All-Star Banquet, according to ESPN.
Originally born in Romania, Titus came to the United States after he was adopted by Andrew and Carolyn Titus. He attended Auburn schools and was a 2009 graduate of Edward Little High School, and was part of the food service team at Bates College, according to his death announcement.
“Josh had a passion for being part of a team and was a true sports enthusiast,” the announcement states. “His presence had a way of causing the people around him to pause, appreciate all the situation had to offer. He will truly be missed but never forgotten, as he has made many memories to be cherished.”
His parents told Portland’s WGME through a statement, “We will forever remember Josh’s infectious smile, his love for basketball and the pride he had as the team manager for the Edward Little boy’s varsity team.”
Watch video featuring Josh Titus: