UCLA women's basketball team signs 10-year-old

Being on the basketball court where the UCLA women's team practices didn't seem that unusual. I've been on basketball courts before, but when 10-year-old Brandi Monroy walked in, it was like a spotlight suddenly shined on her. 

The next 45 minutes or so were inspiring.

The women's basketball team formed a two-line tunnel and as Monroy walked into the gym with her mother and brother they clapped in a cadence as she walked toward center court.

Brandi is the newest member of the UCLA women's basketball team!

Besides that clapping team spirit, she got a Bruin jersey with her name on it, but she also signed a Bruins letter of intent to be on the team even though she's nowhere ready for college. 

"I want to be a runner (and) run like an athlete," she said.

She's had a challenging young life. At the age of 3, she was diagnosed with a rare disorder that mainly affects the kidneys.

That was followed by years of dialysis, a kidney transplant and a liver transplant. And, her mom says, she's not done. Mom's name is Izamar Ruelas. She tells us her daughter "has several surgeries coming up but overall she's doing great."

Behind this big-hearted project is a nonprofit called Team IMPACT that matches young people with serious medical conditions from all over the country with college sports teams. Sarah Sapiro is the executive director for the west for Team IMPACT.

"It's a two-year program that's really an extension of their care. We work with their medical care team and we have a social worker child life specialist and a case manager that works with the family," Sapiro said.

Bruin Women's Coach Cori Close loves this program and Brandi.

"Just to see her strength of character, her optimism, her willingness to fight everyday you know... if we have the character of strength and fight that she's shown.. we're going to win a lot of games this year," Close said.

Brandi is now joining the team and according to the coach, she can come to all games, practices, hang out with the team and sometimes even sit on the bench her health permitting.

How did she feel in that new Bruin jersey sporting the number 1? 

"I feel really excited and I'm really happy I'm joining the team today," Brandi said.