Team IMPACT Draft Day – 5 Year-Old Arianna Mazza Signs With Williams Basketball

L to R: Ang Vecchiarelli '20, Pat Manning, Arianna and Her Mom Nichole
L to R: Ang Vecchiarelli '20, Pat Manning, Arianna and Her Mom Nichole

WILIAMSTOWN, MA – The Williams College women's basketball team became the ninth Eph team to draft a local child onto their roster through the Team IMPACT Program when they hosted a draft day signing party in the Al Shaw Basketball Offices Sept. 18.

Team IMPACT, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team, along with Williams College Women's Basketball, hosted a special Draft Day celebration for 5-year-old Arianna Mazza of Adams, Mass. Arianna has a congenital heart condition.

Arianna was a bit overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up for her signing with the entire Williams team, reporters and= cameramen being among the 20 or so family and friends who accompanied her to the event.

Team IMPACT has more than 1,000 teams waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and who could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be interested, visit for more information. 

Arianna will attend as many of the Williams games and practices as she can and when she comes to the Williams campus she will have her own locker in the Eph team's locker room in Chandler Gym.

Junior forward Angie Vecchiarelli welcomed everyone one and told how excited the team was to have Arianna as a new member and then she asked Williams Athletic Director Lisa Melendy to say a few words. Melendy told the gathering of the closeness of the Williams teams and the supportive nature of the athletic department and welcome Arianna to the team.

Eph head coach pat Manning then spoke about the excitement of welcoming Arianna to the team and introduced Eph softball coach Kris Herman who gave an overview of Team IMPACT.

Herman was one of the founders of Team IMPACT and she talked how Team IMPACT has placed 1,6000 kids in 48 states since 2011 and how proud she is of the Williams teams who have joined the program.

Many of Arianna's family members and friends in attendance were wearing Arianna t-shirts with a drawing of a large heart on it. Arianna's mom Nichole explained the meaning behind the shirt as it related to Arianna's ongoing treatments.

Arianna received two t-shirts, a hat, and when the season begins she will have her own locker in the Eph team locker room in Chandler Gym.

The Draft Day ended with Pat Manning and Arianna's mom Nichole officially signing Arianna onto the Eph team.