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10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy joins Wash U basketball team

A spokesperson from the hospital called him the ‘sweetest little dude’

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis area university basketball team has a new member.

Ten-year-old Gavin recently joined the Washington University men’s basketball team.

He was born at just 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces. A few hours after he was born, he had a stroke. Gavin was then diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital has been part of Gavin and his mom, Mia’s journey since day one. His mom, Mia, now works at St. Louis Children’s Hospital as a parent advocate and mentor in the children’s NICU.

“The nurses at children’s are the loves of my life,” Mia said. “They saved him, but I think more importantly – they kind of saved me. They took care of me on all of his super horrible, super hard days. They still continue to take care of us,” She said.

A spokesperson said as part of his continued care and therapies at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, his team recommended he watch sports that have a lot of action for his eyes to follow to help strengthen the muscle. Gavin started going to Washington University basketball games and he became hooked.

A spokesperson from the hospital called him the ‘sweetest little dude.’

Gavin joined the team in November, and it was made official by a draft day signing through Team IMPACT. Gavin even got his own locker.

Mia said the team is so sweet to Gavin.

Head coach Pat Juckem said having Gavin around helps the guys keep perspective n what really matters.

“When he’s here he can come in our locker room and hang out with our guys and feel like he’s one of them,” Juckem said.

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