News: Honorary Soccer Player

A boy is signing a soccer contract

Boy Battling Cancer Signed As Honorary Soccer Player At CCU

Colorado Christian University men's soccer held a special draft on Tuesday, signing the youngest and perhaps toughest athlete in program history. Joel Zamora, a 10-year-old Littleton resident and cancer survivor, inked his intentions to become the newest Cougar soccer player at CCU.

Joel was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and underwent a partial amputation of his left leg. He still faces one more surgery, but the Cougar cub isn't letting adversity get him down. Through a partnership with Team IMPACT, the fourth grader will serve as an honorary CCU men's soccer team member for the 2018 season.

"He's going to come to practices with us, and we'll get him gear and a little locker. He'll be in the locker room before games, he's going to walk out with us, do the whole team chant, everything that we do," assistant coach Graham Delano told CBS4.

On Tuesday, Joel signed a "national letter of intent" to join the Cougars in a ceremony at the Anschutz Student Center attended by coaches, family, students, the soccer team, and the cheer squad.

"This is such an obvious connection," said head coach Gary Evans. "We have really enjoyed getting to know Joel and his family. Our team has already embraced this young man and I can't wait to see how we can help him battle this illness. Moreover, Joel's strength and determination is very inspiring. It is impossible not to be affected by his resolve."

Even though Joel's amputation requires him to wear a prosthetic, he's not letting it slow him down.

"He doesn't even realize or even care that he has this now," said Becky Zamora, Joel's mother, about the prosthetic. "He just keeps going and going and smiling. He smiles all the time."

Joel enjoys playing video games, eating pizza, and is an Aaron Rodgers fan.

Team IMPACT was founded in 2011 and has been connecting children undergoing medical treatment with college athletic programs ever since. Children gain support as they face medical challenges, while student athletes gain a new perspective. Through the power of teamwork, kids and student athletes accept, motivate, and inspire one another. Participants are officially drafted to the team and attend practices, games, team dinners, events, and more.

See the complete coverage from CBS4 in Denver.