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NKU men’s basketball signs Elijah Walters through Team IMPACT at Norse media day on Tuesday

Northern Kentucky men’s basketball head coach Darrin Horn held a special session during the team’s annual media day to announce the signing of Elijah Walters through Team IMPACT, officially welcoming the Loveland, Ohio, native to the team.

A 14-year-old battling Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease since May 2015, Walters is an all-around competitive athlete who is in his freshman year at Loveland High School. Walters brings a rare combination as a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball, who also possesses courage, determination and a fighting spirit to tackle everything Perthes Disease can throw at him.

Perthes Disease is a rare childhood condition in which blood flow is restricted to the rounded head of the femur. Without proper blood flow, the bone cells die, causing the hip to collapse, fragment and disintegrate.

NKU men’s basketball head coach Darrin Horn (right) announced the signing of Elijah Walters (left) through Team IMPACT during the team’s annual media day. (Photo by Chloe Smith/NKU Athletics Communications)

“Elijah is an inspiring young man with a competitive drive and we’re blessed to have him join the Norse men’s basketball team,” said Horn. “Elijah’s personal journey has been filled with courage, resiliency and determination that serves as a model for everyone. I’m grateful to have Elijah as part of our team and look forward to supporting him in his battle to beat Perthes Disease.”

Since his diagnosis four and a half years ago, Walters has undergone 15 surgeries and more than 300 physical therapy sessions. With his fighter’s spirit, Walters has continued to defy the odds and even set foot on the field this year for the freshman football team at Loveland High School as a quarterback.

Walters joins a Norse team coming off of back-to-back Horizon League regular-season championships, also winning two of the last three league tournament titles and competing in a pair of NCAA Tournaments (2017, 2019).

To read more about Elijah’s story, please visit www.perthesquarterback.com.

Team IMPACT has more than 1,200 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 www.goteamimpact.org for more information.

From NKU Athletics Communications

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