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Basketball tournament dedicated to late student-athletes

| Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, 10:20 p.m.

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

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

“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 Brett Frischolz, pitched the idea of a basketball tournament to his father and helped get the inaugural event under way last year.

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

Brett Frischolz, 21, died when he fell while working on a construction job in August 2011. He served as a captain for the boys soccer and basketball teams his senior year at Norwin.

The basketball tournament will feature seventh- and eighth-grade boys' basketball teams from throughout the region. Money raised from team initiation fees, as well as drawings during the tournament, will go toward the scholarship funds.

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

Jeff Nelson said he admired how his son, who could have easily 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, Jeff Nelson said. He aspired to study marine biology at a college in North Carolina.

Brett Frischolz, a 2009 graduate of Norwin High School, was a student in the Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University 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 Brett 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,” Rick Frischolz said. “He was very giving. His loss was felt everywhere.”

To donate to the scholarship fund, send checks made out to Norwin Basketball Association to P.O. Box 115, Adamsburg, 15611.

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