Making an IMPACT

Oakland+men%27s+basketball+signed+Will%2C+a+child+from+Team+IMPACT+to+be+a+part+of+the+team.+Team+IMPACT%2C+an+organization+that+matches+severely+and+chronically-ill+children+with+college+sports+teams.

Oakland men's basketball signed Will, a child from Team IMPACT to be a part of the team. Team IMPACT, an organization that matches severely and chronically-ill children with college sports teams.

Katlynn Emaus

Oakland men’s basketball joined women’s basketball, volleyball and swimming and diving and signed a child from Team IMPACT, an organization that matches severely and chronically-ill children with a college sports team. His name is Will.

“At Oakland we really believe in giving our student athletes a full experience,” assistant men’s basketball coach Drew Valentine explained. “We felt like this was a great opportunity to give back and hopefully have a very positive impact on a young man’s life that could use all the support he can get.”

Valentine believes this experience will become a “positive outlet” for Will. The goal is for Will to feel welcome and a part of the Golden Grizzlies family, to form a bond with the players and to be able to get his mind off anything he is going through. Valentine hopes the team will be able to “provide him with some smiles, laughter and happiness.”

“I hope the team can really get a good understanding of not only how fortunate they are to be healthy and talented enough to play the sport that they love,” Valentine said, “but also an understanding and appreciation for an individual who is working hard to just live a normal life.”

Junior Sherron Dorsey-Walker believes seeing Will fight in the face of adversity changes perspective.

“We cannot match the adversity Will is going through,” Dorsey-Walker said. “I feel that Will is going to lift the spirit of our team. Showing us how blessed we are to be in this position!”

Dorsey-Walker reached out to Will before he even came to campus. He expressed his excitement to have Will on the team.

Will was more than ready to wear the bear. He received fresh Oakland Basketball attire and was able to help the team break down at the end of practice his first day on campus. On game days, he’ll be in the locker room.

“First and foremost, I hope Will and his family feels welcomed from OU,” Dorsey-Walker said. “I hope Will also can find some peace when he is with the team. I also hope he knows that we will always give him love and support for life!”