From Washington University Athletics
The Washington University in St. Louis baseball program would like to announce the official signing of nine-year-old Connor Grant as the newest member of the Bears family in conjunction with Team IMPACT Cystic Fibrosis Project "Draft Day."
Grant has the rare genetic disease known as cystic fibrosis, but keeps an upbeat spirit as recognized by those in attendance of the "Draft Day" press conference.
"When I think about our vision in who we are at WashU," said associate athletic director Sara Burton, "we're all about developing champions, building community and impacting lives. When I look at this opportunity, particularly today, welcoming Connor and his family I feel that we really hit the mark in all three areas."
In front of a large crowd full of Grant's family members and WashU student-athletes, sophomore AJ Dunham described a previous event in which Grant and the baseball team played whiffle ball in Halloween costumes.
"Part of being a WashU student-athlete is trying to encompass being a champion in everything that you do," expressed head baseball coach Pat Bloom. "It's not always reflected in the scoreboard, as much as it is the type of person you become."
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit that connects children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with the support system of a college sports team. Through the Team IMPACT CF Project sponsored by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, children who have CF, like Connor are drafted onto local college athletic teams and become an official member of the team to support the child's physical, social and emotional needs. By being a part of the WashU baseball program, Connor will attend Bear practices, games, team dinners, events, and more.