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Men’s basketball coach Jim Baron announced that 13-year old Jason MacClellan has become an honorary member of the Golden Griffin men’s basketball program.

MacClellan is joining the men’s basketball program through Team IMPACT, an organization that aims to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.

A native of Tonawanda, N.Y., MacClellan “signed” his letter of intent and was presented with a No. 1 team jersey that has his name on the back, during a ceremony held in the Koessler Athletic Center after practice on November 19. MacClellan has a locker in the team locker room inside the Koessler Athletic Center and will have the opportunity to sit on the Griffs’ bench for home games and attend practices.  MacClellan will also have the chance to participate with the team in off-court activities.

“Team IMPACT is a fantastic organization and we are delighted to welcome Jason to the Canisius men’s basketball program,” Baron said. “This is a great moment for the Canisius men’s basketball family. Being able to have a young man like Jason join our team and to have our guys welcome him to our group is a really special feeling. I’m pretty confident Jason is going to learn a lot but the guys on our team are going to learn even more.

MacClellan was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) Type 2L in June 2015. There are only about 1,000 people in the world with LGM, and MacClellan is one of the only pediatric patients in the world. LGMD does not allow muscles to repair themselves and he suffers from extreme pain while taking six or seven medications daily. Despite his illness, MacClellen loves basketball, hip-hop and techno music, and playing video games.

To learn more about Team IMPACT, please visit

Submitted by: Matt Reitnour, assistant athletic director, athletic communications