“You’re part of the team now,” VCU Men’s Basketball Coach Shaka Smart told 17-year-old Henrico native Morgan Vega Thursday afternoon.
Vega, who has battled serious, lifelong health issues as a result of cerebral palsy, was introduced as the newest member of the Rams during a press conference at the Stuart C. Siegel Center.
Surrounded by the Smart, the basketball team, and friends and family, Vega signed a National Letter of Intent and was was presented with official VCU Basketball gear.
“You always want people to be part of your organization who have a passion and an enthusiasm about what you’re doing. Morgan is a young man who has certainly had some adversity, but he’s got a great attitude, he’s got a great smile. He loves VCU Basketball and we’re excited to having him here,” Smart said.
Vega is a participant in Team Impact, which aims to “improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team”, according to the organization’s official website. Earlier this fall, Team Impact and VCU Field Hockey joined forces to sign 4-year-old Lauryn Lewis.
Afterwards, Vega posed for pictures with the men’s basketball team and received hugs and well-wishes from friends and family.
“I think it’s a good reminder for our players that there are a lot of people out there that look up to them, and in this case, Morgan is really not much younger than our guys. I think for our guys it’s a humbling reminder of just the perspective that’s out there and the reality that in our small world of VCU Basketball, there’s a lot of people that are watching what we’re doing,” Smart said.
To learn more about Team Impact, visit GoTeamImpact.com.