|New Tufts women's basketball
teammate Shannon Curley with Jumbo
MEDFORD - Shannon Curley, an amazing 12-year old girl from Billerica who loves basketball and singing among many interests, was drafted by the Tufts University women's basketball team on Sunday out at the South Hall Basketball Courts.
Shannon and the team were connected through Team Impact, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by establishing and expanding vibrant team-based support networks.
Diagnosed with leukemia last Christmas, Shannon has since been through chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Thankfully it's now in remission, and she was an active participant in Sunday's special draft-day event.
Prior to Shannon signing her letter of intent to join the team, her family and friends were treated to several fun events coordinated by the team. The family was announced like a basketball starting line-up to begin the festitivies. Tufts a cappella groups the Jackson Jills and S-Factor both performed. Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco hosted Jumbo trivia, and slam dunk and three-point shooting contests were also held.
After a representative of the Tufts Admissions office reviewed Shannon's outstanding academic qualifications, and her basketball skills were supported by letters of recommendation, she signed her letter of intent along seated next to President Monaco. Like on NBA Draft Day, Shannon was presented with a Jumbo shirt and hat.
However, the best part of the day for Shannon was still to come. She took her first road trip with the team to the Newman School in Newton and met one of her idols, Aly Raisman. The Olympic Gymnastics gold medalist gave Shannon one of the shirts she wore in competition, several posters, and an invitation to come watch her practice.
Due to the bone marrow transplant, which weakens the immune system, Shannon is currently unable to join the team at any indoor activities. The team is planning several outdoor events and looking forward to the possibility that she may be able to attend a game late in the season.
In addition to her basketball talents, Shannon is also a YouTube and Instagram sensation as a singer. She's also actively involved in helping others who have leukemia.
"I was just so impressed with her," said Tufts assistant coach Kate Barnosky. "She doesn't just talk about dealing with her situation, she takes action."
Visit the Team Impact Website at http://www.goteamimpact.org/.
Shannon, sporting a fake mustache, enjoyed the festivities with her family