Temple men’s basketball adopts child through non-profit

Mason Wyckoff, 6, who has a condition that decreases his ability to fight microorganisms, signed a National Letter of Intent with the men’s basketball team on Friday through Team Impact.

Coach Fran Dunphy (left) watches as Mason Wyckoff signs a ceremonial National Letter of Intent on Friday at Pearson Hall. Wyckoff, 6, who has a condition that affects his immune system, got connected to the men's basketball program through a non-profit organization. | EVAN EASTERLING / THE TEMPLE NEWS

One day before its matchup against Penn, the men’s basketball team welcomed a new member to the program.

Mason Wyckoff, 6, of Bucks County, signed a National Letter of Intent while seated beside his father Pete Wyckoff, coach Fran Dunphy and his mother Brianna Wyckoff in the Owls’ practice facility in Pearson Hall on Friday. The Wyckoff family got connected to Temple through Team Impact, a Massachusetts based non-profit organization that builds relationships between children facing serious and chronic illnesses and college teams.

Mason Wyckoff has Common Variable Immune Deficiency, which causes a loss of antibodies and decreases his ability to fight microorganisms, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The cause of CVID is undetermined in about 90 percent of those affected.

“There’s anxiety issues because he has to get a needle every week,” Pete Wyckoff said. “We have to worry about kids that have colds around him. It’s just a constant monitoring process, so it’s kind of tough. But he’s good with it.”

After signing his letter, Mason Wyckoff received a jersey with the No. 1 and his last name on the back. Sophomore center Damion Moore, his favorite player, presented him with the jersey and played with him as Temple warmed up for practice on Friday afternoon.

“This is an exciting day for us to kind of hang out with Mason and his folks and talk a little bit about him and his fight against an autoimmune disease,” Dunphy said. “And he’s got a challenge in front of him, but he meets it greatly every single week and his parents are great role models for him to understand what it’s like to go through this.”

The Wyckoff family hadn’t followed the men’s basketball program until this season, Pete Wyckoff said. They’ll certainly be fans moving forward.

“He loves it here,” Pete Wyckoff said. “He’s been looking forward to it awhile now. He was asking me, ‘When’s my draft day? When’s my draft day?’ because he’s seen other draft days online my wife has been showing him.”

“It warms your heart to know there’s people out there that care,” he added.

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