DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's basketball team welcomed its newest and youngest member to the program when 15-year-old Katherine Martel was part of the Team IMPACT Draft Day in mid-November.
Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses by creating unparalleled team-based support systems across the northeast. Core to the model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Following her application to the program, Katherine was matched with the UNH women's basketball team.
Draft Day is an opportunity for the child (and family) to meet face-to-face with the team and be welcomed as a new teammate. Draft Day for Katherine was a recent team practice. In honor of Katherine, whose favorite color is green, the Wildcats wore green bandanas. She took a number of photos and at practice's conclusion joined the team in the locker room, where she was presented a green bandana and UNH team jersey at her locker, which was also decorated with green streamers, balloons and posters.
Throughout the 2012-13 UNH season, Katherine's game day experience at Wildcat home games will include sitting with the team on the bench during the game as well as joining the squad at pre-game and post-game meetings in the locker room. She will also be invited to various team activities and functions such as Alumni Day, Senior Night and the team banquet.
In addition to interaction at games and events, the Wildcats will be a social support group for Katherine by corresponding via e-mail and social media.
New Hampshire plays its home opener Nov. 25 against Cornell University. Game time at Lundholm Gym is 1 p.m.