Women’s Basketball Recruits Youngest Player

Kyra, age 8, joins the Saints squad through Team IMPACT

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The Maryville University women’s basketball team has announced that 8-year-old Kyra Kidder is now an official member of the team. She joins the Saints through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.

Kyra, who lives in Fenton, Mo., became a member of SaintsNation as the Maryville community celebrated her draft day in a recent ceremony held on campus. She will wear jersey No. 6 this season, as that is her favorite number.

“Kyra will add a whole new dimension to our women’s basketball program. Her name on our roster and presence at practices and games will be a shot of adrenaline for our players and coaches and an inspiration to all who come to know Saints women’s basketball this season.”

Kyra was born with a congenital heart defect and has Tetralogy of Fallot and, at 6-months old, she had open heart surgery to close a hole in her heart. At the age of 7, Kyra was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease known as Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). JDM is a disease in children that causes skin rash and muscle inflammation, resulting in weak muscles.

“Today is a remarkable day for Maryville University, Saints Athletics and the Maryville women’s basketball program as we sign our first Team Impact Blue Chip prospect, Kyra Kidder of Fenton, Mo., our youngest Letter of Intent Signee in the 36-year history of NCAA Athletics at our institution,” head women’s basketball coach Chris Ellis said during the signing event. “Kyra will add a whole new dimension to our women’s basketball program. Her name on our roster and presence at practices and games will be a shot of adrenaline for our players and coaches and an inspiration to all who come to know Saints women’s basketball this season.”

Kyra has two dogs, Josie and Phoebe, two cats, Sophie and Star, and a pet hamster, Lulu. She also has three stepsiblings, an older sister, Lilian, and two younger siblings, Sylias and Lydia.  Kyra is in third grade. Her lucky number is six and her favorite TV show is Liv & Maddie,; The Croods is her favorite movie. Kyra loves the color orange and her favorite singers are Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. For fun, Kyra loves to watch movies, visit Six Flags St. Louis, and play basketball and softball. She enjoys ice-skating and will start hockey lessons this fall.

Established in 2011, Team IMPACT, a 501(c)(3) organization, has already matched more than 700 children with collegiate teams at over 300 institutions in 43 states, improving the quality of life of hundreds of courageous children and touching the lives of over 20,000 student athletes.