"We had Jimmy down several times before. The kids took to him, and he took to the kids." explained Norwich head coach Paul Booth. "I was thinking about trying to do something like this. The idea came out of Sammi Chickering's mouth. She said have you ever heard of Team Impact? Team Impact is a group that pairs kids who have health issues with intercollegiate teams."
Jimmy was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just 8 months old. After years of treatments and surgeries, including two bone marrow transplants, Jimmy is now leukemia free. The treatments were severe and have permanently affected Jimmy's growth but that doesn't stop him from living life to the fullest.
"I never met a kid with more heart in my entire life. I've never met a more competitive person, in anything in my entire life." said Norwich senior Tom McDonald.
"It's been an emotional roller coaster." said Jimmy's father Rick Giroux. "We've had our ups, we've had our downs. More downs than ups but lately we've had more ups. We've had a lot of positive things happen to us. And Jimmy's always seemed to be the glue to this family, who has kept us together."
Monday, Jimmy arrived at Norwich University to sign his official letter of intent.
"This is a big day for Norwich basketball." Coach Booth said to the crowd of coaches, players and family gathered to witness Jimmy's signing. "Number 1, we get a commitment from our first member from the class of 2014. Jimmy will be a great addition to our team. He's a tremendous competitor, he's a great teammate, a good student. He's going to be great in, on, and off the court. And without further ado, you have to sign your national letter of intent."
And just like that, Jimmy was a Cadet.
"It's an honor to do this." Jimmy told Fox 44/ABC 22 sports reporter Ross Lippman. "Because most people wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing."
After signing, it was time to get ready for that night's game against Mount Ida. Jimmy was shown his new locker, changed into his Norwich gear and listened to Booth's pre-game instructions before joining his team mates on the bench for the game.
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