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CSU-Pueblo men’s basketball signs a 7-year-old

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Kaleb Mannon, 7, signed with CSU-Pueblo Men's Basketball through Team IMPACT. Photo courtesy of CSU-Pueblo Athletics.
Kaleb Mannon, 7, signs with CSU-Pueblo Men’s Basketball through Team Impact Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of Dustin Cox, CSU-Pueblo Athletics.

The CSU-Pueblo men’s basketball team signed a young boy as its newest member on Nov. 5, with the hopes to make an impact in one child’s life over the coming season.

The team signed 7-year-old Kaleb Mannon as its newest member, as he signed his commitment to participate in front of his new CSU-Pueblo teammates and coaches, along with his family and other members of the Pueblo community.

Mannon is from Cañon City, Colorado, and was excited to sign with the ThunderWolves.

Having dealt with Rheumatoid Arthritis for most of his life, Mannon was also diagnosed this past August with Hypogammaglobulinemia, an immune disfunction.

He often gets sick, takes daily medication, takes a low dose of chemotherapy once a week, and gets plasma transfusions every 21 days.

“I think it is really cool for us, just being in our position in the community and people know who we are,” said Braydon Kuiper, a forward on the team. “If we can help improve his life even a little bit then it’s worth it.”

Mannon came to the team through Team Impact, a national organization based in Boston, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.

According to Kuiper, the team hopes to at least help take Mannon’s mind off of his condition even if it’s for an hour or two.

Team Impact children like Mannon are drafted into college athletic teams local to where they live. To the greatest extent possible, the kids become a member of the team from draft day through graduation, according to Team Impact.

Mannon will be participating with the team as much as possible and will likely be found on the sidelines during the ThunderWolves home games.

He enjoys being active when he can, a CSU-Pueblo news release said, along with activities like camping, fishing, hiking, bike riding, drag and stock car races and tinkering with taking things apart and putting them back together.

Mannon is also a sports fan and enjoys sports but said his favorites are basketball, football, soccer and baseball.