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9-year-old with cystic fibrosis becomes newest member of Capital U. women's hoops team

Mercadize Paver, an 11-year-old from Marysville with cystic fibrosis,was officially drafted by the Capital University women's basketball team during a news conference on Sunday afternoon. (WSYX/WTTE)

BEXLEY, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- It was a big day for young girl in Central Ohio.

Mercadize Paver, a 9-year-old from Marysville, was officially drafted by the Capital University women's basketball team during a news conference on Sunday afternoon.

Paver joined the team through the Team IMPACT Cystic Fibrosis Project, which is a national nonprofit that connects children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with the support system of a college sports team drafted onto local college athletic teams. It allows a child to become an official member of the team while getting support for their physical, social and emotional needs.

"[I was] kind of nervous, but really excited. I was really, really happy," Paver said.

As part of the ceremony, Paver also signed a national letter of intent. She'll now get to attend Crusader practices, games, team dinners, events, and more.

Since 2011, TEAM Impact has matched more than 1,200 children with more than 450 colleges and universities in 46 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes.


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