Lion Men’s Basketball team signs 9-year-old battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

Emerson DePaz, a 9-year-old boy battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.

Photo Courtesy | Lion Athletics

Emerson DePaz, a 9-year-old boy battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.

Drew Ivery, Co-Editor/Sports Editor

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By: Drew Ivery | Co-Editor/Sports Editor

This past Thursday, the Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions men’s basketball team held a signing day event hosted by Team IMPACT’s program at the University for a child battling Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.

Team IMPACT’s mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team. A&M-Commerce held a special Draft Day celebration for 9-year-old Emerson DePaz of Greenville, TX on Thursday, Feb 6 in the Field House.

About Team IMPACT

Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, MA that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched 2,000 children with over 700 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 55,000 participating student athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can’t learn in a classroom.

A New Lion

Through Team IMPACT’s program at A&M-Commerce, the top recruit will become an official member of the men’s basketball team. As a team member, Emerson will attend Lions practices, games, team dinners, events, and more.

Photo Courtesy | Lion Athletics
The Lions take a photo with new teammate, Emmerson DePaz

“We’ve got a young man who’s been going through the trial period,” Head Coach Jaret Von Rosenberg said, per Lion Athletics. “He committed to us a couple of months ago and has been going through the practices. “He’s been able to hang out and shoot hoops and play video games with our guys. Emerson brings a lot of versatility and depth to our roster.”

After presenting Emerson with a Lion Letter of Intent, per Lion Athletics, Coach Rose noted “When you sign that, you’re officially on our team as long as you want to be.”

Yesterday was the second Team IMPACT Signing Day held by Lion Athletics, as Japheth and Jeriah Cranfill of Greenville have been Team IMPACT members of the Lion Football team since back in 2018.