Hunter Linam was the center of attention Monday.
Linam, 9, signed a baseball national letter of intent with UALR in front of an auditorium packed with classmates at William Jefferson Clinton Elementary Magnet School in Little Rock on Monday.
"It was pretty intense, but it was also really exciting," Linam said in a news release from UALR. "It's a really good feeling to finally be on a baseball team again. I've wanted to be part of the team since I was four."
Linam's signing was facilitated by Team IMPACT, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Linam was diagnosed in September 2014 with pre-B cell acute lymphocytic leukemia, one of the most common types of blood cancers for children today.
"It was an awesome event," UALR Coach Chris Curry said in a news release. "What a champion Hunter is for what he's going through, and he's a real inspiration. Hunter is destined to be a big leaguer in my mind."
Team IMPACT children are drafted onto college athletic teams, local to where they live, and to the greatest extent possible, become a member of the team from signing day through graduation.
Linam threw out the opening pitch at UALR's Fall and Alumni Day in early October.
Curry said the Trojans will adopt him as their youngest player.
"He'll show up to practice, and we'll have ice cream parties with him and friends," Curry said. "Maybe he'll ride the bus with us on a game that's close by. Basically, we want him to plug in with our guys and make sure they know how important and how much of a member of the family he is."
Established in 2011, Team IMPACT has already matched over 700 children with collegiate teams at over 300 institutions in 43 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of more than 20,000 student athletes.
"I hope other kids can make it through as well as they can, and I hope they have someone to support them through all of this," Linam said. "It's really nice to always have someone by your side."
He said it
From Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald:
• "I just hope the Royals don't get cocky and expect to win a World Series every 30 years."
• "After [Nebraska] loss to Purdue, I'm almost glad that football will probably be banned 20 years from now."
• "I had a trick-or-treater ring my bell Monday. I said, 'Kid, you're two days late. Who are you supposed to be?' He says, 'NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett.' "
• "There was a Halloween costume called 'Kansas Jayhawks football road win.' I prefer a touch of realism in my Halloween costumes. The flying whale I can buy, but this ..."
• "Wake Forest defeated Boston College in football, 3-0. There was one injury. The play-by-play guy hit his head on the mic after falling asleep during a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter."
They said it
• From Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times: "In just seven starts this season, the Texans have trailed the Dolphins 41-0 -- in the first half! -- and the Falcons 42-0. Coincidence? Houston's Week 10 visit to Cincinnati has just been declared the Bengals' homecoming game."
• From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on golfer Lexi Thompson's six LPGA tournament victories at age 20: "My biggest accomplishment at 20 was figuring out that if you rocked a vending machine, an extra bag of chips might fall."
Ned Yost is the second manager in Kansas City Royals' history to win the World Series. Who was the first?
Dick Howser in 1985
Sports on 11/03/2015
Print Headline: Trojans get a real winner