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Edgewood grads teaming up for fundraising basketball event

Feb. 2—Marcus Ernst said that he, along with other Edgewood basketball greats, may not have been quite ready for their showing at the "A Kid Again" charity basketball tournament.

He'll be looking for a shot at redemption as Ernst will team up once again with Eli Kalil, Connor McLaughlin and Tye Rood, a new addition, for this year's 3-on-3 charity tournament at Cleveland State University on Saturday.

"We were kind of joking that we all came in out of shape last year," said Ernst, a 2017 graduate. "We made a pact that this year that we're going to be ready. We didn't end up winning it last year, but this year that's the goal. It's gonna be a lot of fun."

Regardless of where they finish on the hardwood, though, the real winners will be the families of children in Northeastern Ohio dealing with life threatening medical conditions.

"A Kid Again," is based in Columbus, but also has an office in Cleveland.

The organization provides families of such children the opportunity to take a break from doctor and hospital visits to enjoy quality family time at adventure-filled destinations.

Competing with his friends again is great, but Ernst said helping others is what makes the event all the more special.

"Knowing that we're playing for something outside of ourselves that is going to go to a greater cause is awesome," he said. "Not just us, but everybody involved in the event did a really good job of keeping it fun and focussing on the bigger picture."

While the team of Edgewood alumni finished about the middle of the pack on the court a year ago, they led the way in raising money, eclipsing $1,000 for the organization.

They are looking to repeat that again this year.

"Last year that was out of 22 teams, this year it is out of 18," Kalil said. "So, we're making a large impact for this non-profit organization that does a lot of great work providing families with opportunities they might not normally have due to medical expenses."

Ernst said seeing the Edgewood community support their efforts with the same enthusiasm as in his playing days is quite humbling.

"It's a lot of fun getting to play with some of the best to come through Edgewood, but the big thing is the Edgewood community has been a huge supporter in standing behind us," he said. "Ashtabula, in general, does a great job in general of supporting athletics and even with us being out of school for a while, it's awesome to see people still able to back us, especially for a cause like this, it's really special."

Kalil said anyone

interested in donating to the cause can do so online at akidagain.org

As for winning on

the floor, with 1,000-point scorers from their high school days and a lot of length from Ernst and Rood, Kalil is confident about their chances.

"It will be tough to score on us," he said. "I'm expecting our defense to be there, hopefully our legs will be there for offense, too."