Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College women's basketball team welcomed a new member to their team following a 63-58 win over the Hamilton College Continentals, when the Laura Robichaud, a 13-year-old girl from Simsbury, Conn. who loves music and sports and has been diagnosed with autism and epilepsy, was drafted onto the Bantam roster through the Team IMPACT program.
"We are so happy to have Laura with us," said Trinity sophomore Meghan Collins. "She has shown us that our team is about so much more than basketball, but about creating a a group that will be there for each other through anything. This experience forced us to look outside of our own situations and see what others have to go through in the real world."
After first being introduced to the team via email, Laura attended her first practice a couple weeks ago. She was nervous at first but came out of it, and quickly became comfortable and had a ball. Team members shot around with her after practice, and spent time Laura and her family. Laura happily continued played on the court in the middle of a men's lacrosse conditioning workout in the gym.
We are extremely excited and honored to welcome Laura and her parents into the Trinity women's basketball family," said Trinity Head Coach Emily Garner. "She is extremely goal-oriented and loves musis and sports. Laura truly embodies the spirit and fight that we pride ourselves on as a team, and we could not have imagined welcoming a better teammate into our program."
The actually drafting ceremony took place at the scorer's table in Oosting Gymnasium with several several fans from the Hamilton game, including members of Laura's family and some friends and teachers, remaining in the facility. A formal ceremony that saw Laura sign official papers to make her a roster member was executed to make it a special and "real" occasion. Laura received a team jersey with her favorite number "23", and was thrilled to interact with the Trinity Bantam mascot, played enthusiastically by Trinity softball captain Meaghan Race. A cupcake reception followed and then Laura had another shoot-around with the players.
"It was an awesome experience for all of us to see Laura officially join the Bantams," said Trinity junior Emily Llerena. "She had oved our practice jerseys and was hoping that maybe she could wear one, so the look on her face when she got the game jersey with her favorite number was amazing! She is already such a special part of Trinity women's basketball, and it makes us proud to know she is watching and rooting for us."