Coaches and teammates say Griz basketball’s newest signee is an inspiration to all of those who cross his path. Wyatt Grove, a 12-year-old from Great Falls, is tougher than most, currently battling a brain tumor.
How Wyatt first came in contact with Montana's basketball program was in part by a program called Team IMPACT.
"In short, Team IMPACT connects children battling serious illnesses to college programs," said assistant coach Jay Flores. "Basically, what the program is supposed to do is create lifelong bonds and life-changing outcomes. As grateful as we are, we are equally as grateful it's so awesome."
After the introduction, head coach Travis Decuire knew Wyatt would be a huge asset to their team.
From that point on, Wyatt was considered a recruit and was treated as such.
Wyatt made an unofficial visit to campus and went to dinner with the coaching staff and his family. Finally came signing day.
"A couple things that jump out to me about our brand that I think Wyatt exemplifies is his leadership," said Decuire. "We have a group of young men that will follow Wyatt’s lead in terms of them following how he wakes up every day and challenges himself to be successful. And the other thing that jumps out to me the most is his toughness, and that's really the biggest. There is no question in my mind or his heart that he stands for that. So, because of that, I am absolutely blessed to add him to our roster and our team."
The players say they're thrilled to learn from Wyatt, on and off the court, and to grow as people as well.
They say it’s extra special to have yet another Montana native on the team.
"It's great to have Wyatt on the roster for multiple reasons -- he's just so positive like he is today and a smile on his face," said senior forward Mack Anderson. "It's also always nice to add another Montanan onto the roster, so we could not be more thrilled to have him here."
Now officially part of the Montana family, Wyatt is already showing he is a true Griz through and through.
"Wyatt, I have a question for you. What game are you most excited for?" asked junior forward Josh Bannan.
"Cats," said Wyatt.
That simple response caused the entire men's basketball program -- coaches and players included -- to fall even harder for their new teammate.