CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The Virginia men's lacrosse team gathered in a room at the McCue Center Monday night to celebrate their newest recruit.
Ten-year-old Brian Rehm of Stanardsville sat at a table in the front of the meeting room. To his right sat his family. To his left sat UVA senior defenseman Scott Hooper and men's lacrosse coach Lars Tiffany, who welcomed Rehm to the team.
"You're one of us now," Tiffany told the wheelchair-bound Rehm after he signed his letter of intent with the Wahoos, and Hooper presented the 10-year-old with his UVA lacrosse jersey.
The room filled with applause several times, including a standing ovation from the rest of the lacrosse team to welcome Rehm as their newest teammate.
Rehm called the moment "really exciting." It was an opportunity "that meant a lot," according to his father Brian.
"I've coached for years," the elder Rehm said. "And he loves being on the field with the guys, after practice he's, same kind of things he's doing here. Playing catch with the guys. Fist-bumping, joking around. That's just him. So it's cool."
Rehm joined the Wahoos through Team IMPACT, a nonprofit organization that connects children with chronic illnesses with college athletic teams.
"It almost wasn't even a question. Right when I asked the guys, everybody was really on board and really wanted to do it," said Hooper.
"And to see this come to fruition is really cool. We're really excited for the team, and especially for Brian and his family."
Rehm already visited his first UVA practice last week. Tiffany told him and his family on Monday that they'll be welcome back anytime next spring.
Tiffany hopes his team can be inspired by Rehm's toughness.
"Here's Brian, with a condition that's going to prevent him from playing lacrosse in the standard way. But he's going to play it in his own unique way, because our men are already playing catch with him," Tiffany said.
"He's playing in his own way, and it's really special for us to learn from somebody like Brian."