AMHERST, Mass. – Tuesday evening, the Amherst College women's basketball team welcomed its newest member as the Mammoths signed 8-year-old Indira Wiles of Turners Falls, Massachusetts.
Indira comes to the team through the Team Impact program, which connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams.
Indira is 8 years old and lives in Turners Falls with her parents, Kari Anne and Frank, and her siblings, Maryalee (15), Noah (13), Arie (11) and Jonah (7).
Indira was diagnosed with ALL B-Cell (form of leukemia) in 2014. She has successfully completed 2 ½ years of treatment and is doing well.
The signing was made official during a ceremony on campus. Indira signed a letter of intent, as did Head Coach G.P. Gromacki.
The members of the Amherst women's basketball team were on hand, led by co-captain Maeve McNamara '19, who led a Q&A with Indira after the signing.
The Amherst College women's basketball team are the two-time defending national champions. Under Gromacki's lead they have won three championships, signified by the number 3 presented to Indira on her new Amherst jersey. They hope her resiliency will be a lesson they can use as they go for national title number four.
After signing with the team, Indira took questions from members of the Mammoths, who wanted to know a little more about their new teammate. Her favorite color is pink, favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate, and her favorite class at school is recess.
Indira will be rooting the Mammoths on as they finish their regular season with three straight home games, starting Friday night when they host Williams at 7:00 PM.
About Team Impact
Team Impact is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.
The simple but powerful concept of matching sick kids with college athletic teams has been around for decades. Going as far back as 1960 when football players from Middlebury College started "Picking up Butch", athletic teams have been adopting kids onto their team to the benefit of all parties and participants. For many years this great sports tradition has been profoundly improving the quality of life for countless numbers of courageous kids, as well as providing life lessons and perspective to athletes that cannot be learned in the classroom. In the spring of 2011, Co-Founder Jay Calnan enlisted the support of Co-Founder Dan Kraft and a group of former classmates and business associates with the intention of leveraging their network in order to harness the enduring power of a team and the potential impact on children, their families, and college athletic teams. Since our inception, Team IMPACT has created relationships that have enhanced the lives of thousands of courageous children and touched the lives of tens of thousands of student athletes across the country. The team behind Team IMPACT is honored and inspired to continue and expand the long standing tradition of athletes paying tribute to something that is far greater than themselves; the ability to come together, serve the community and support each and every member of the team through adversity both on and off the field.