Xavier basketball coach Chris Mack signs Trey Couch, 12-year-old with life-threatening disease

Xavier University men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack signed a 12-year-old with a life-threatening disease Monday afternoon, the university announced.

Trey Couch, of Liberty Township, became the youngest prospect ever signed to a National Letter of Intent at Xavier, the university said.

Trey and Xavier connected through Team IMPACT, a New England-based non-profit that establishes team-based support networks for children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

“This is a great opportunity for our team,” Mack said in a statement. “Sometimes we look at our everyday challenges and think we have it tough. We try to teach our student-athletes that there are a lot stiffer challenges that other people have to face.”

Team Impact has located more than 300 kids on more than 100 college campuses, said Maura Mahoney, Director of Case Management & Communications.

Team IMPACT says its goal is to establish a long-term relationship with a team for the duration of the child’s treatment and beyond.

“The relationship helps the child get through their physical and psychological challenges,” Mahoney said. “We believe it helps improve their quality of life.”

Maura Mahoney – Director of Case Management & Communications – See more at: http://www.goteamimpact.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=16#sthash.qqOxkSkE.dpuf

Mahoney said Trey’s family contacted Team IMPACT.

“Trey started playing basketball and football when he was 5, and his dad has been a coach, so the family is very athletically-oriented,” Mahoney said.

“We try to match kids with teams in their area. I started working with one of the assistant coaches at Xavier and some of the players on the basketball team,” Mahoney said.

Junior Matt Stainbook and sophomore guard Semaj Christon took the lead in adopting Trey to the team, Mahoney said.

“We have a training video and I go over that with the players,” she said. “The colleges hold a ‘draft day’ or ‘signing day’ to welcome the child onto the team, and from that point on, he’s one of the guys. He goes to practices and participates as any team member would.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to join my new teammates in the locker room and on the court,” said Trey.

In October 2010, Trey was diagnosed with Cerebellar Degeneration , a neurodegenerative disease with no known cure. The illness greatly impacts the cerebellum, the area that controls coordination and balance, and over time it will lead to muscle deterioration throughout his body, Mahoney said.

Team IMPACT is a secular group started in 2011 and funded by friends who went to Tufts University, Mahoney said. The group just recently started expanding outside New England.

Written by Nick


Nick the Quick White is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?

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