PROVIDENCE, RI – One of the intangibles Johnson & Wales University men's basketball head coach Jamie Benton looks for in potential student-athletes is toughness and determination. Braedon Walker certainly fits that profile.
On Saturday, the nine-year-old Walker became the newest member of the men's basketball team when he was drafted by the Wildcats in partnership with Team Impact. As a team member, Braedon will attend JWU practices, games, team dinners, events, and more.
"On behalf of the JWU Men's Basketball, it brings me great pleasure to welcome Braedon to our team," Benton said. "Braedon's story is truly inspiring. His perseverance during this trying time is a lesson that we could all learn from and it's an honor to officially make him apart of our Wildcat Family. We hope with the support of his Wildcat teammates, no obstacle will be too big to overcome."
Walker, a native of Central Falls, RI was diagnosed in 2016 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,400 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 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.