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Grover Beach girl with diabetes “signs on” as honorary player for Cal Poly women’s basketball

Posted: 6:19 PM, Feb 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-24 01:34:52-05

A Grover Beach girl with diabetes cried tears of joy Saturday as she was named an honorary player on the Cal Poly women’s basketball team.

Natalia Xavier, 12, signed a letter of intent at a special Draft Day ceremony to play for the Mustangs.

Xavier, who has Type 1 Diabetes, struggles with her health constantly but said she now feels empowered.

“I feel like a fighter every day,” Xavier said. “I feel like a warrior.”

Natalia Xavier signs on as honorary Mustang (Credit: Madison Vick)

Madison Vick, a Cal Poly basketball player, said Xavier’s perserverance and strong will are two qualities necessary to play Division I basketball.

“She has to overcome an obstacle every single day and being a student athlete at a DI college definitely entails that,” Vick said. “You have to be able to time manage, work hard and handle a lot.”

Vick was matched with Xavier as a mentor through a national organization called Team Impact, which connects kids with serious illnesses with local college athletic teams.