Sooners Pair Up with Team IMPACT

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN – Oklahoma men’s gymnastics head coach Mark Williams already has a pair of highly-touted freshmen on campus making an impact for his Sooners as they prepare for the 2017 season, and Wednesday he announced another special addition to this year’s team.  

Norman, Okla., eighth grader Ethan Mitcham will join the back-to-back defending national champion Sooners this season as a part of Team IMPACT.

"We're excited to welcome Ethan to our program," Williams said. "He has been an inspiration to my team and we look forward to developing our relationship with him throughout the season."

Founded in 2011, Team IMPACT is an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team. Team IMPACT does this by drafting these courageous kids with local collegiate athletic teams. These children are drafted onto the team and become an official member of the team from signing day through to graduation.

"We’re really looking forward to the next few years not only building a relationship with him but with his family as well. We know he has a big heart. We think he is definitely going to be an awesome part of this team.”
- Redshirt Senior Josh Yee

“It’s been awesome,” redshirt senior and team captain Josh Yee said. “We have only just met him and just started adopting him into our team. We’re really looking forward to the next few years not only building a relationship with him but with his family as well. We know he has a big heart. We can definitely see that through him and his parents. We think he is definitely going to be an awesome part of this team.”

Mitcham was born with a heart defect that required him to undergo open-heart surgery at 18 months old and again in 2011. Presently, he is doing well and his condition is being monitored regularly.

To every extent possible, Mitcham will be a full member of the Oklahoma squad, attending practices, team activities and meets. He is 14 years old and lives in Norman with his parents and their two miniature schnauzers. His lucky number is 14, he loves cheeseburgers and his favorite color is, of course, red! For fun, Ethan enjoys playing video games, football and basketball and spending time with his new teammates.  

Fans can get an early look at the No. 1-ranked 2017 Sooner squad as the team as holds its annual Crimson and Cream intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center. Admission is free.

Season tickets for Sooners' home slate are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the University of Oklahoma Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll free at (800) 456-GoOU. Tickets can also be ordered online by clicking here.

Get inside looks at the Sooners throughout the season by liking the OU Men’s Gymnastics Facebook page and by following the team on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @OU_MGymnastics.

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