To continue with their late-season push for playoff seeding, the Temple University men’s soccer team welcomed a new team member in an effort to motivate the group.
Nathaniel Gee, 15, of Camden, New Jersey, signed a National Letter of Intent while flanked by his mother, Tamika Gee, and coach Brian Rowland in Pearson-McGonigle Hall on Thursday.
The Gee family is connected to Temple through Team Impact, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that builds relationships between children facing serious and chronic illnesses and college teams.
In April 2009, Nate Gee was diagnosed with absence seizures, which he experiences approximately once per month. Absence seizures are brief sudden lapses of consciousness that are more common in children than adults, according to The Mayo Clinic. Nate has responded well to medication to help limit the seizures.
The team rallied around Nate, welcoming him with open arms from the very beginning of the season. He attended several of the Owls’ preseason games and many of their regular season games.
“Nate brings a lot of energy and passion to the team,” Rowland said. “He’s a team-first kind of guy and I know he’s going to bring us some good motivation as the season nears its final push.”
Temple (4-7-3, 1-2-1 American Athletic Conference) has four games remaining on the schedule, three of them against American opponents. The Owls are tied for fifth in the conference standings with four points.
Nate Gee is most looking forward to “hanging out with the guys.” He doesn’t have a favorite teammate but is excited to be around the Owls as they push for a playoff spot.
Following his signing with the team, Nate was presented with a Temple jersey and hat to officially represent his new team.
“It feels awesome to see him up there because he is happy and he looks forward to hanging out with the team,” Tamika Gee said. “I rarely see him with a big smile on his face except when he’s with the team.”
“It’s amazing to see Nate making such progress…it’s been baby steps that have led to milestones,” she added.