Draft day came early for the men’s volleyball team Oct. 21 at California Baptist University as Davis Galluzzo, a 7-year-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, received a team jersey, a locker with his name on it and an opportunity to be a part of the team.
After signing an Institutional Letter of Intent to join the team, Galluzzo will be alongside the team for the season to help encourage the team
and be present for team practices, games and dinners.
Davis was diagnosed with ALL when he was 2 years old and lost his ability to walk when he was 4 years old because of damage of his spinal cord from chemotherapy.
Davis is a participant in Team IMPACT, an organization focused on
improving the quality of life forchildren facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses by matching the children with local college athletic teams. Team IMPACT works with 306 schools in 43 states, including CBU.
Before signing the Letter of Intent, the team took him in front of the school to touch the Kugel, a symbolic tradition confirming his status as a member of CBU.The cheer team and Dr. Micah Parker, director of Athletics, were also present at the event.
Derek Schmitt, head coach for men’s volleyball, said it was exciting that Davis signed the letter with CBU.
“The players and coaches have enjoyed getting to know Davis through the recruiting process,” Schmitt said. “We have learned a lot about Davis including his favorite color is navy blue, which is important when becoming a Lancer.”
Schmitt said Davis enjoys playing video games on a game console or a phone and has even started dominating some of the team members in Wii Tennis.
“In the short time that I have gotten to know Davis, I have noticed is that he will bring a variety of strong attributes to the program,” Schmitt said. “One of them is he will fight through adversity. He has been doing that for several years and continues to do it day after day. He also brings a fun, spirited attribute to the team, which the team needs, as the
season can go on for more than eight months.”
Schmitt said Davis has been an inspiration to the team and brings encouragement with a smile on his face and a positive attitude.
“We see how it has been a tough several years for him and what he’s dealt with, but we see how he keeps a great attitude and it’s an important reminder to the guys about how we handle ourselves when we face
adversity, whether it is in volleyball, the classroom or in life, in general. We have to keep a good attitude about it no matter what,” Schmitt said.
Darcy Galluzzo, Davis’ mother, said she is excited for Davis to learn what it is like to be on a team and to watch him have a great time.
“This is a completely different environment for us, it’s something new and isn’t focused on what he can’t do or what he has gone through,” Darcy said. “It’s about the Lord planting us in a different place. It’s a new
season and we are looking forward to being apart of something different and exciting for him.”
Galluzzo said his favorite video game is Marvel Contest of Champions; his favorite character is the Hulk; and considers himself to be the Hulk because he said he is strong, too.