Chronically ill 4th-grader signs with college hockey team

WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) –î A Massachusetts college’s newest varsity athlete is a 10-year-old chronically ill boy recruited more for his spirit than his slap shot.

The Babson College men’s ice hockey team in Wellesley welcomed Walpole fourth-grader Coleman Walsh to the squad Tuesday. The induction was organized by Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects colleges with youngsters dealing with debilitating or life-threatening illnesses.

Since birth, Coleman has been fighting Williams syndrome, a developmental disorder.

Coleman signed a letter of intent with Babson. He put on skates and a jersey before taking to the ice. He’ll be able to attend practices, games and other events.

Anaheim Ducks player Chris Wagner is from Walpole and wished Coleman luck this season in a video message.

Team IMPACT says it has paired more than 1,200 children with 450-plus U.S. colleges.