The newest signee of the UMPI Men's Basketball Program may not be as tall as most of Head Coach Jim Casciano's recruits, but if success is measured by heart and courage, Nick Krause will be a shining example of what a teammate should be.
From Fort Fairfield, Maine, 13 year old Nick Krause joined the UMPI Men's Basketball Team at a recent ceremony on December 10th.
"I am excited to welcome Nick Krause as the newest member of basketball program. Nick comes to us through Team IMPACT", said Casciano. "We look forward to Nick making a difference on our team because of his work ethic, perseverance, and attitude."
Nick is part of national service organization, Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, and Play Against Challenges Together) that matches youngsters with debilitating or life-threatening illnesses with college sports teams. Nick has epilepsy and he has endured the effects of seizures and severe memory loss for the past 3 years.
As a new member of the UMPI team, Nick will be on hand for practices and the Owl student-athletes will continue to interact with Nick and his family as the season progresses. Nick and his family have already helped the team to a win! Nick was on hand to cheer his new teammates onto victory at their December 11th game against UMaine rival Fort Kent.
Team IMPACT is the brainchild of several close friends, most of whom attended Tufts University together, including Dan Kraft, son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Jay Calnan, who provides office space for the organization at his J. Calnan & Associates business in Quincy. The group decided it wanted to take the traditional model of a mentoring program to a new level, according to Dan Walsh, Tufts class of '87, who recently stepped down as Team IMPACT's executive director when the group hired a new chief executive.
"The concept itself has been around forever," said Walsh. On the group's website, www.goteamimpact.org, he said, "we reference at least a half-dozen other programs. Among the oldest is 'Picking Up Butch' at Middlebury College. It's a really simple concept, really powerful. Everybody wins."
The friends provided the money to start Team IMPACT, and launched the program with the St. Anselm's College hockey team in Manchester, N.H., in 2011.
Today, Walsh estimates that Team IMPACT oversees partnerships in 37 states nationwide, with roughly 1,200 children participating. Those numbers are in constant flux, as the program looks to match more children with teams.
Coach Casciano obviously picked a winner when he signed Nick, not only has the team already enjoyed meeting and hanging out with their new teammate and his family, but the Owls are undefeated with Nick Krause on the team!