AUGUSTA, ME – In working with Team IMPACT, the UMA Athletic Department has announced the addition of two new members to the men’s and women’s basketball teams. 10-year-old Carter Blanche and 6-year-old Emma Blanche of Maine were formally introduced during a press conference on Thursday, August 31st in the Fireside Lounge in the Randall Student Center surrounded by their parents, student-athletes, coaches, staff, and faculty.
Both Emma and Carter signed their letters of intent to the cheers of UMA’s student-athletes and they celebrated their commitments with a team dinner.
Emma and Carter are both involved with Team IMPACT, a non-profit program that matches up children who are facing life-threatening illnesses with athletic teams. Core to their model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Children who are involved with Team IMPACT are drafted onto local college athletic teams and to the greatest extent possible, become an official member of the team for the duration of their treatment and beyond.
Athletic Director Jennifer Laney was enthusiastic about how the event went, stating "We are thrilled to be a part of this journey with Emma and Carter, as well as their parents, Lynn and Josh. Team IMPACT has provided us all with a wonderful opportunity to create a bond and welcome the Blanche family into our Moose family."
Before the school year started, members from both basketball teams held a painting party with Emma and Carter to help welcome them to the Moose family as well as allow the opportunity for the kids to become more comfortable throughout the process. This upcoming season, Emma and Carter will be attending practices as well as games where they will be able to wear team jerseys and cheer on the Moose. Senior Captain Carmen Bragg commented, “I am super excited to share my senior season with Emma and Carter! They are going to make this final experience for me even more special!” Noah Thompson, men’s basketball captain, added, “We are pumped to have Emma and Carter as part of the team! Knowing they will be there supporting us this season is a huge motivator.”
Since its inception in 2011, Team IMPACT has matched 1,200+ children to more than 450 colleges and universities in 46 states, reaching over 35,000 participating college athletes. The children gain great strength, camaraderie, and support and the student-athletes are taught lessons about courage, resiliency, and life perspective. The UMA Athletic Department is very proud to be working with Team IMPACT and is excited for their journey with the Blanche family!
Learn more about the Team IMPACT program at goteamimpact.org.