By: Tim Andrzejewski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
HOUSTON — Rice men’s basketball coach Mike Rhoades, with the help of Team IMPACT, has announced the addition of seven-year old Luis Arcaya of Houston to the men’s basketball team Tuesday afternoon.
A national organization, Team IMPACT pairs Division I athletic teams with children with life-threatening illnesses. Luis, who has relocated with his family from Venezuela to the Houston area to be closer to his doctors, is currently battling Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis; an autoinflammatory disease that causes swelling in the joints which causes persistent joint pain, swelling and stiffness. Luis does infusioins every two-to-three weeks, while taking daily medications to manage the pain and swelling.
“Everybody should do this,” said Rhoades. “These guys, including myself, get to live our passion and our joy of the game. They get to come to school for free, play basketball and get an unbelievable education. You always have opportunities to give back. I grew up that way. That’s the way I was taught and I want to teach these guys that. It’s about giving back and helping others. Luis is now a part of our family.
Arcaya, who turned seven on Oct. 26, has signed a National Letter-of-Intent with the Rice basketball team and is currently a student at Oran M. Roberts Elementary School.
Established in 2011, Team IMPACT has already matched over 1000 children with collegiate teams at over 430 institutions in 45 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of over 30,000 student athletes.