UCCS Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jeff Culver on Sept. 8 signed an 11-year-old Colorado Springs boy to a national letter of intent.
Culver signed Kavan Brown, a student at Sproul Junior High School, as a member of the team, making him immediately eligible to participate in team activities. Brown will wear number 50, noting the university’s golden anniversary celebrations planned throughout 2015.
“It’s a big day for our Mountain Lion men’s basketball program at UCCS,” Culver said during the signing ceremony. “We’ve been looking quite a bit for that extra piece of the puzzle to earn ourselves a championship, and we think we found him.”
Brown was joined by his parents, Angela Bird and Toby Brown, and his 9-year-old sister Ana. He will participate as much as he is physically able to with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a bone marrow deficiency disorder.
During the signing ceremony, Brown was interviewed by members of the current men’s basketball team, and answered such questions regarding his favorite TV show, video game, movie and super hero.
Brown’s commitment to the UCCS Men’s Basketball team was made possible through a partnership with Team IMPACT, a nonprofit organization that improves the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Children are signed to local athletic teams to become an official member of the team for the duration of their treatment and beyond.
Brown was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome when he was 14 months old. The disorder causes bone marrow deficiencies, digestive issues and immune deficiencies. He has had more than 10 surgeries, has to do blood tests every three months, and sees four to five specialists every six months. Because of his immune deficiencies, a large part of his family’s effort is dedicated to preventative measures.
UCCS finished last season with a program record 21 overall wins and record 10-win streak. The Mountain Lions marked the season with program milestones in the first home playoff game, first playoff win, first conference tournament championship game appearance and first appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.