Presents to unwrap and unmasked players were waiting for 10-year-old Keyshawn from Manchester when Make-A-Wish Connecticut and coaches and student-athletes from the University of New Haven men’s and women’s basketball teams provided him with a shopping spree at the MAW headquarters in Trumbull on Wednesday.
“Hi, thank you, oh my gosh,” Keyshawn said while facing a Zoom board that featured 19 New Haven athletes and coaches wearing funky eye glasses and holding personalized signs that read from “We Love You Keyshawn” to a placard by UNH’s junior Camryn DuBose with Keyshawn’s name and a Superman, Batman, and Lightning Bolt logo.
Keyshawn and his family were picked up by a UNH Shuttle and New Haven associate athletic director Sara Richwine at their house in Manchester and traveled to Trumbull using a State Police escort.
Photos with his family and UNH mascot Charlie the Charger followed, while the presents Keyshawn had asked for on a virtual shopping spree waited across the room.
Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media
Christine Alt, MAW Donor Experience Manager, read a proclamation that noted Keyshawn’s interests are basketball (specifically the NBA’s Steph Curry, Clay Thompson, the Warriors and Lakers) and that his favorite class in school is physical education. His favorite color is blue.
Keyshawn waved goodbye to cheering virtual supporters from UNH and then began to unwrap the gifts.
Members of men’s coach Ted Hotaling and women’s coach Debbie Buff’s teams had spoken with Keyshawn via Zoom last week. This time, Hayden, age 4, and Aubrey, age 2, nephew and niece of Maggie Johns the UNH Director of Sports Medicine, joined everyone on the call.
UNH student-athletes raised more than $10,000 during a week of virtual Make-A-Wish events just prior to the Thanksgiving break. In late November, UNH athletes took part in a Polar Plunge to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.