PHILADELPHIA – Temple Men’s Basketball celebrated an important signing today as 15-year-old Omar Singhateh officially became an owl. A member of the Team Impact program, Omar signed his letter in front of the Temple Basketball team and his parents and younger brother in the program’s movie theater.
“It’s a wonderful day for our program as we get to add a high quality, high caliber person to our team.” Temple head coach said Aaron McKie. “I want to welcome Omar to the Temple family. You embody our core values that we live by every day. It is hard work, tenacity, commitment and consistency.
Your hard work in class – you excel every day, every week, every year and that is important. Your tenacity. Your ability to endure the circumstances you face every day and come out on the other side with that million dollar smile. Your commitment and steadfastness to being a good kid every day is how we try to live our day to day life. “
Omar, who lives with sickle cell anemia, a disease that affects his red blood cells, resides in Philadelphia with his parents and three brothers. He was paired with the Temple men’s basketball team in September 2020, and since then he and his teammates have been communicating virtually.
Today’s signing day serves as a symbolic kickoff to the two-year relationship between a child from the IMPACT team and their team. Due to COVID, Omar’s signing day with the Owls was not possible until now. Just back from a family summer visit to Africa, Omar looks forward to meeting his Temple teammates in person over the coming year.
Team IMPACT is the only non-profit organization in the United States that tackles the emotional trauma and social isolation experienced by children with serious and chronic illnesses by matching them with a varsity sports team. Our two-year therapy program complements a child’s medical treatments, allowing the child to develop relationships and skills that help them complete the full circle of healing.
By participating in Team IMPACT’s clinically informed program, children experience a true sense of belonging, which translates into increased empowerment, normalization, health promotion and resilience. Families feel connected and supported as their child achieves individualized goals, while experiencing the joy of team camaraderie and inclusion; and student-athletes gain perspective and inspiration, as well as lessons on adversity and resilience.
Founded in 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 2,100 children with more than 700 colleges and universities in 49 states, affecting more than 60,000 student athletes.
Find out more at: www.teamimpact.org.