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Memorial tournament raised funds for Norwin scholarships

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Two young Norwin boys who have been praised for their teamwork on the court and compassionate personalities off the court were remembered through a basketball tournament that will help put other students through college.

The Norwin School District hosted the second annual Memorial Basketball Tournament in Memory of Brett Frischolz and David Nelson from Dec. 27 to 29. All proceeds will be split into scholarship funds in memory of each of the boys for Norwin High School seniors.

“To me, it's a great way to remember the kids,” said Mark Baird, one of the organizers for the basketball tournament. His son Ben, who played basketball with Frischolz, pitched the idea of a basketball tournament to his father and helped get the inaugural event under way last year.

Nelson, a 14-year-old athlete and honor student from North Huntingdon collapsed and died after his heart stopped beating during a basketball practice in a Norwin school building in 2005.

Frischolz, 21, died after falling while working on a construction job in August 2011. He led both the boys soccer and basketball teams his senior year at Norwin as a captain.

The basketball tournament featured seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball teams from around the region. Money raised from team fees, as well as drawings during the tournament, will be placed into the memorial scholarship funds.

“We're grateful and thankful that people still remember David,” said his father, Jeff Nelson.

Nelson said he always admired how his son, who easily could have dominated the basketball court, made sure to pass the ball and get other players involved.

“He was good at everything,” Nelson said. “What impressed us was the teamwork he exuded during games, just his teamwork and unselfishness.”

As a Norwin student, David Nelson consistently made honor roll, his father said. He aspired to study marine biology at a college in North Carolina.

Frischolz, a 2009 graduate of Norwin High School, was a student in the Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh when he died in 2011.

“I don't have my son, but at least I see what kind of reflection he had on human beings,” Rick Frischolz said. Although his son was a naturally gifted athlete, even in kindergarten, Rick Frischolz said, he was in awe of how many lives his son touched off the court.

“I'm extremely proud of the type of person he was,” Frischolz said. “He was very giving. His loss was felt everywhere.”

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