The University of Indianapolis Athletics Department has added a student athlete to the Greyhound family through TeamIMPACT. Braden Tamosaitis was signed to the men’s soccer team on Wednesday, Feb. 26 with a press conference held in the Ruth Lilly Center.
Braden signed a National Letter of Intent to play at UIndy and was given the number 10 jersey, which is his favorite number. The entire men’s soccer team was in attendance along with Head Men’s Soccer Coach John Higgins, UIndy Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey, NCAA Division II Associate Director Josh Looney and Great Lakes Valley Conference Commissioner Jim Naumovich. Higgins gave the opening remarks at the ceremony.
“It’s a great, great day for men’s soccer. It’s a great day for the program. We have an excellent signing class this year and Braden definitely adds to that. [He’s] maybe the most important signing we’ve made coming into the season,” Higgins said.
Higgins described the first time he met Braden with the leaders of his team. He said that the defining moment was eating chocolate cake with Braden at his home.
“We went to his house and we got the chance to play with him and ate some chocolate cake. I think that’s what really sealed the deal was that chocolate cake. We got him to commit to us after that,” Higgins said.
Higgins described the benefits that Braden would bring to the team and what he hopes the team can learn from him.
“We’re going to be good role models for him, but he’s going to be a great role model for us and improve things on the right track for us. He’s going to support us this year,” Higgins said.
Braden was surprised by the prospect of possibly traveling with the team, to which he responded, “That I didn’t know about.”
Naumovich told Braden that the 15 other men’s soccer coaches of the GLVC were envious of his signing before giving him a shirt from last year’s soccer championship. Looney also presented Braden with an official shirt from the NCAA. After the signing, the soccer team had the opportunity to ask questions of their new teammate.
Braden’s mom, Becky Tamosaitis, learned about UIndy’s involvement in TeamIMPACT through a posting about Owen Mahan, who had been signed to the baseball team. Tamosaitis said she is excited for Braden to be around “a whole bunch of big brothers” and be a part of an athletics program like UIndy’s.
“UIndy is just always such a great school. All of their athletics departments are so involved with the community, and it’s been good,” Tamosaitis said. “He’s met several teams through Riley [Children’s Hospital] and just overall UIndy has been a great school, community-wise, being able to interact with the kids and have fun with it.”
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Verhonik was part of the group of student athletes that first met Braden. Verhonik said he knew right away that he wanted the soccer team to take on a TeamIMPACT student athlete.
“I knew immediately that I wanted to get this going for the soccer team and thought it would be a cool thing to do,” Verhonik said. “We had some time to figure it out before next fall, and it just happened to work out that they found Braden really quick.”
Many of the attendees echoed that Braden will help them gain perspective on their lives. Verhonik said he is inspired by the way he sees Braden live his life.
“It [interacting with Braden] opens your eyes a little bit and kind of makes you see things from a new perspective,” Verhonik said. “And all of your struggles that you have day to day, you kind of realize that they’re not nearly as big as what he goes through every day. If he can keep a smile on his face and be happy about living life every day, it’s something that makes you want to live the same way. It’s good to have him around.”