14-year-old girl with rare condition signs with Maine college women's basketball team

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CASTINE, Maine (WABI/Gray News) - Maine Maritime Academy women's basketball added a teammate Thursday night in Castine: 14-year-old Kelsey Carter.

Kelsey Carter signed a letter of intent, joining the Maine Maritime women's basketball team. (Source: WABI/Gray News)

“She probably won’t get to bed until 10 o’clock tonight because she’ll be too giggly and silly,” Jackie Carter said.

Kelsey signed a national letter of intent with Maine Maritime’s women’s basketball program.

“She’s just a great kid, and she’s got a great perspective on life," coach Craig Dagan said. "The irony is that she's going through the tough part and she’s the one that’s more relaxed than everybody else, so it’s pretty cool to see.”

The tough part she’s going through is a rare genetic disorder. Kelsey has a duplicate chromosome that impacts behavioral development. Because of Kelsey's condition, doctors won’t let her play basketball, her first love as a kid.

But with the help of Team Impact, a Boston-based nonprofit that connects kids like Kelsey with college teams, she’s gone ahead and signed with Maine Maritime anyway. It’s already a win-win.

After Kelsey signed her letter of intent, it was time to head to the locker room, where she found her own locker with her own jersey and some other pretty cool gear.

"In the last two months since we’ve met Coach Dagan and his staff and the team, it has been a remarkable change in Kelsey’s mood and behavior. It’s really made a big impact on her sociability and her self esteem,” Carter said.

We’ve welcomed a really cool family to our basketball family as well, so this whole experience has been really, really neat,” Dagan said.

Kelsey is one of only three people in the entire state with the genetic disorder, but now she faces another rare condition: being one of only a handful of young women who play for Dagan, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.

“Everybody looks good in royal blue and gold, but she looks especially good," he said.

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