The Team IMPACT foundation was created to match up children facing life-threatening illnesses with college sports programs, with both sides benefitting from the connection. While the child gets the experience of being part of a team, which can also boost morale as they fight illness, the team benefits as well from connecting with someone who can serve as an inspiration.
The latest to benefit is the Boston College men’s basketball program, which on Friday announced that it has “drafted” 9-year old Quinn Amsler to its team.
Amsler was diagnosed with sarcoma in April, and a bad reaction to chemotherapy treatments resulted in a hospital stay that spanned multiple months. Amsler is currently undergoing physical therapy and chemotherapy, and Boston College head coach Jim Christian wasted no time in making the youngster a part of the program.
“Sometimes you just meet a young person and you know they have the qualities you want,” Christian said in the release. “We want toughness. We want young people who understand that when adversity hits, you tackle it head on with a positive attitude.
“And then you want to be an inspiration for others. There was no doubt in my mind that when we met Quinn, that he is what we want in this program.”
The Eagles, who with the addition of Amsler are now up to nine newcomers on their 2015-16 roster, open the regular season November 14 against St. Francis-Brooklyn.
Video credit: Boston College Athletics
While Boston College had a number of issues during a 2014-15 season in which they went 4-14 in ACC play (13-19 overall), rebounding was one that really stuck out for Jim Christian’s team. In conference games Boston College ranked 12th in the conference in defensive rebounding percentage and 15th in offensive rebounding percentage, so any pieces capable of helping on the glass would be welcome in Chestnut Hill.
Thursday evening the Eagles landed a commitment in the Class of 2015 in the form of 6-foot-10 power forward/center John Carlos Reyes. News of Reyes’ commitment was first reported by ESPN.com, with the center himself taking to social media shortly thereafter to announce the news himself.
Reyes, who attended Sound Doctrine Christian Academy in Georgia, is Boston College’s sixth commitment in the class and he joins a front court that is in need of additional bodies.
Dennis Clifford, who will be a senior this coming season, will once again lead the way in the post with rising sophomore Idrissa Diallo competing for minutes as well. But outside of those two the Eagles don’t have much in the way of size, which makes the commitment of Reyes an important one for both 2015-16 and in the future.
With multiple players from their backcourt, most notably Olivier Hanlan, moving on Boston College was in a position where they could use some additional depth heading into the 2015-16 season. Wednesday afternoon head coach Jim Christian picked up another piece, as 6-foot-3 shooting guard Sammy Barnes-Thompkins verbally committed to the ACC program.
News of Barnes-Thompkins’ commitment was first reported by Rivals.com. He’s the fourth commitment in the Class of 2015 for Boston College, and while all four players are perimeter prospects that’s an area where the Eagles were in need of additional depth.
Barnes-Thompkins joins fellow guards Jerome Robinson, A.J. Turner and Matt Milon in the class, with all three of those players having signed a National Letter of Intent. The Phoenix native originally committed to St. John’s, but reopened his recruitment in the aftermath of the school relieving Steve Lavin of his head coaching duties. St. John’s has since hired Chris Mullin as its new head coach.
Boston College will be a very young team in 2015-16, with rising junior Garland Owens and rising senior Dennis Clifford being their most experienced players. In addition to Hanlan, five perimeter players were either seniors or graduate students in 2014-15 with Lonnie Jackson moving on to Boise State where he’ll be eligible to play immediately.
Following his decision to reopen his recruitment, Barnes-Thompkins took visits to Saint Mary’s and USC before committing to Boston College. He gives Boston College another option to play on the ball, although he’s capable of playing off of it as well.