Williams Women's Basketball Drafts Arianna Mazza

Ang Vecchiarelli ('20), Pat Manning (HC), Arianna and Mom Nichole
Ang Vecchiarelli ('20), Pat Manning (HC), Arianna and Mom Nichole

Courtesty of Williams Sports Information

WILIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Williams College women's basketball team became the ninth Eph team to draft a local child through the Team IMPACT Program when it hosted a draft day signing party in the Al Shaw Basketball Offices on September 18.

VIDEO: Watch Draft Day of Arianna Mazza

Team IMPACT, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team, along with Williams College women's basketball, hosted a special Draft Day celebration for 5-year-old Arianna Mazza of Adams, Mass. Arianna has a congenital heart condition.

Arianna was a bit overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up for her signing with the entire Williams team, reporters and cameramen being among the 20 or so family and friends who accompanied her to the event.

Team IMPACT has more than 1,000 teams waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and who could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be interested, visit www.goteamimpact.org for more information. 

Arianna will attend as many of the Williams games and practices as she can and when she comes to the Williams campus and will have her own locker in the Ephs' locker room in Chandler Gym.

Junior forward Angie Vecchiarelli welcomed everyone and spoke of how excited the team was to have Arianna as a new member and asked Williams Athletic Director Lisa Melendy to say a few words. Melendy spoke of the closeness of the Williams teams and the supportive nature of the athletic department and welcomed Arianna to the team.

Williams head coach Pat Manning talked about the excitement of welcoming Arianna to the team and introduced Eph softball head coach Kris Herman who gave an overview of Team IMPACT.

Herman was one of the founders of Team IMPACT and she talked about how Team IMPACT has placed 1,600 kids in 48 states since 2011 and how proud she is of the Williams teams who have joined the program.

Many of Arianna's family members and friends in attendance were wearing Arianna t-shirts with a drawing of a large heart on it. Arianna's mom Nichole explained the meaning behind the shirt as it related to Arianna's ongoing treatments.

The Draft Day ended with Pat Manning and Arianna's mom Nichole officially signing Arianna onto the Eph team.