By: Andrew Mees, Director of College and Athletics Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bloomfield College men’s basketball program welcomed a new inspirational teammate into the fold on Dec. 18, as the team made eight-year-old Denis Boulos of Montclair, N.J. the newest member of the Bears with a special Signing Day ceremony in the institution’s gymnasium.
Members of the College’s faculty, staff and men’s and women’s basketball programs were on hand to welcome Denis into the institution’s family during a special early-evening event, which included the signing of his National Letter of Intent to join the men’s program and the team presenting him with his own locker within the Bears’ locker room.
“We are so excited to have the opportunity to be connected with an amazing child like Denis and the rest of the Boulos family,” Bears head coach Gerald Holmes said. “Denis has already become a part of our team, and hopefully he learns as much from our players and his experiences here as we are learning from him and the perseverance he has shown so early in his life.”
Diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a rare form of kidney cancer, in October 2013, Denis and his family were paired with the Bears through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization that brings together children with life-threatening illnesses and local college athletics teams. Now on the road to recovery, Boulos has already become a staple on the sidelines at Bears home games, officially becoming a member of the program by signing his Letter of Intent during the Signing Day festivities.
Courtesy of FiOS1 NEWS
“Our team is grateful to have the chance to be connected with a kid like Denis, and have him become a part of our group,” said senior guard Marvin Williams (Jersey City, N.J.). “He has overcome a lot at a very young age; he is already inspiring our team, and we can’t wait to have him around more often.”
Team IMPACT helps to improve selected children’s quality of life through the power of team, placing 575 children at 293 institutions in 42 states since the organization’s inception in 2011. The signing of Denis marks Bloomfield’s first partnership with the non-profit.
"This has been an amazing experience,” said Denis’ mother, Laila Maher. “The coaches, players and entire staff made us feel welcome from the moment we stepped on campus. After what Denis has gone through, we just want him to be happy, and the connection he's made to the Bloomfield College men's basketball team has made him very happy. We are extremely grateful."
“We could not be happier that Denis and his family have joined our program,” said Bloomfield athletic director Sheila Wooten. “Team IMPACT is a wonderful organization, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of it, and to welcome the Boulos family into our community.”
For more information on Team IMPACT, visit goteamimpact.org.
View pictures from Denis' signing event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/62635811@N03/sets/72157647503224794/