By Tom Luicci
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Sept. 4, 2014) – Rutgers’ newest men’s basketball “recruit” won’t impress anyone with his size, but he does dazzle everyone with his smile and attitude.
Sean Moffitt, an 11-year old and a rabid Scarlet Knights basketball fan, signed an honorary national letter of intent today in full view of television cameras at the Rutgers Athletic Center as his beaming parents and older sister looked on along with head coach Eddie Jordan and all of the players.
And he took it all in stride.
“It’s cool – and fun,” Sean Moffitt said.
The youngster from North Brunswick, N.J. was matched to Rutgers basketball through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization that aligns children with life-threatening and chronic illness with college teams to provide uplifting experiences.
Born with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, Sean Moffitt has limited use of his right side after suffering a stroke at birth. He is able to walk with the help of a brace and has had multiple surgeries to try to gain movement and use of his right arm.
His love of Rutgers basketball came to the attention of Team IMPACT, which in turn contacted Corky McMullen, the team’s Director of Player Services. That set into motion today’s signing event. Jordan also presented Sean Moffitt with a No. 1 Rutgers jersey with the youngster’s name on the back.
“It’s just amazing for him to be here,” said Beth Moffitt, Sean’s mom. “He might not have the opportunity to play on a college basketball team – and he always wanted brothers. Now he has both.”
Beth Moffitt said her son’s room is almost decorated as a shrine to Rutgers basketball. He attends as many home games as he is able to make.
“When he came to our camp this summer everyone just fell in love with him,” Jordan said. “He’s got a great smile, he speaks softly, he’s intelligent, he’s very likeable and he loves to be around us.”
The players showed up in force to accept Sean as their latest teammate, which did not surprise Jordan.
“We always talk family and when this came to the forefront through Corky’s efforts and we had the opportunity to be involved, the players embraced it,” said Jordan.
Three Rutgers players – Kadeem Jack, Junior Etou and Greg Lewis – visited the Moffitt house over the summer to finalize the details of today’s events.
Sean Moffitt said he was “nervous” when the players came to his house “because they’re so big.”
Not surprisingly, Sean Moffitt listed Jack, Etou and Lewis as his favorite Rutgers players.
“Corky McMullen and Team IMPACT worked together to make this happen and we’re so grateful for that,” said Beth Moffitt.