Number of Participants: 15
Hours Donated: 1
Value of Time Served: $127
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: November 1, 2017
South Avenue, Garden City
Garden City, N.Y. – With the help of an organization called Team IMPACT, the Adelphi University women’s basketball team drafted its final team member for the upcoming season on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The Panthers added 11-year-old Bianca Onorato, a local product of Rockville Centre, N.Y. on Wednesday morning, in a ceremonial signing day in the Campbell Lounge. The women’s basketball program, joined by members of the Onorato family and Adelphi athletic administration, watched as Onorato signed her National Letter of Intent, making her officially a member of the team.
“Your positive outlook on life, despite your circumstances has been a major influence and has been put a lot of things into perspective for all of us here,” remarked senior Simone Hobdy, student-athlete ambassador. “You are the amount of strong and resilient that we all aspire to be. Bianca, you may look up and love us, but we want you to know that you are the real hero here.”
“I hope that one day we can be half as tough as you are. We want to thank you for being the beautiful soul that you are and impacting our lives in the way that you have, and the way that you will continue to,” she concluded.
In 2013, the 11-year old was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and Juvenile Arthritis. With all that Onorato has been through and continues to fight through, she has already been a huge inspiration to her new teammates.
Onorato and the team joined forces at the end of last semester, with an “unofficial visit” in May. Throughout the summer each member of the team wrote letters to young basketball and softball player, and a few of Adelphi’s local players had the chance to meet up with the family as they awaited the official signing.
When Head Coach Missy Traversi first started at Adelphi, Team IMPACT had no athletes in the area surrounding Adelphi.
“Bianca, I say this happily, you are well worth the wait. We waited two years for you and we feel as though we got the diamond so we are so happy to have you,” Traversi said at Onorato’s signing ceremony.
Most recently, Onorato joined the Panthers at their annual Midnight Madness and the team even surprised her at an afternoon game of her own. She will have the opportunity to be with the team at home games – even maybe the game at Molloy since it’s in her hometown, said her mom – and events involving the basketball program.
Adelphi women’s basketball plays its home opener on Saturday, Nov. 18 when they host the University of New Haven at 1:30 p.m.
About Team IMPACT
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, Mass. 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 more than 1,300 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 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.
About Adelphi Athletics
Adelphi University joined the Northeast-10 Conference in the fall of 2009, and in the past eight seasons, has collected 25 regular season conference titles, 26 tournament championships, 33 individual crowns and captured the Northeast-10 Presidents’ Cup four times (2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017), while winning six NCAA Division II National Championships.