Embrace the Impact: Stonehill Men's Basketball Teams Up with 11-Year Old Connor

Embrace the Impact: Stonehill Men's Basketball Teams Up with 11-Year Old Connor


Skyhawks Partner with Team IMPACT to Sign Connor.

EASTON, Mass. – The Stonehill men's basketball program officially welcomed its newest teammate, when it signed Connor Blaney from nearby Abington, through Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges, Together) in a ceremony inside the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex last week.

Connor, the son of Christy and Paul Blaney, resides in Abington, Massachusetts, with younger brother, Tyler. Connor joins the Stonehill men's basketball program after being diagnosed with Wilm's Tumor, but didn't let anything stop him, completing his treatment in 2016. He enjoys playing on his baseball team and spending time with family. He loves making new friends and is very excited to be the newest member of the Stonehill basketball program.

"We are thrilled to add Connor to our Stonehill Men's Basketball Team," said head coach Chris Kraus, '06. "We look forward to building a closer relationship and embracing him in all aspects of our program. He will be a tremendous addition to the team and a player that all our guys will love."

Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams to form life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes, matched Connor with the Stonehill basketball program. Helping Connor acclimate to his new team are team advocates: junior Owen de Graaf and sophomores Shamir Johnson and Adam Freese.

Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched nearly 1,600 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child's support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage, resiliency and perspective they can't learn in a classroom.

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.

The NE10 is an association of 14 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete. 

Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.