Back in April, like everyone who knew him, I was stunned by the tragic death of former Greenbrier High School star Eric Marshall.
Marshall collapsed and died while playing a pick-up game at Augusta's Warren Road Gym. Later it was learned the 24-year-old had an enlarged heart.
In less than two full years in Columbia County, after transferring here from Hawaii, he became arguably the best boys basketball player to play in Columbia County. He was a two-time County Player of the Year and was also The Augusta Chronicle Player of the Year in 2003.
Marshall went on to have a solid career as a four-year starter at Wofford. His career was marred by two serious knee injuries and he never was able to realize his full potential as a player. For those that knew him best it was a much bigger injustice that he was never able to achieve the many lofty goals he set for himself off the court.
Why good people like Eric are taken from us so prematurely is a question I have no answer for. I do know that Marshall touched many lives during his time at Greenbrier. That was evident by the huge outpouring of fans and friends when the story broke that he was gone.
A couple of days after hearing the news, I got a phone call from Greenbrier Athletics Director Garrett Black. He and his dad, Danny, both coached Marshall during his stint at Greenbrier.
As you might imagine, he took the news very hard. He knew more than most what a great person Marshall was. Everyone knew what he could do on the hardwood, but Black stressed to me what a classy individual he was away from basketball. He mentioned to me that he was going to plan a special event to honor Marshall at a game during the upcoming basketball season.
That special night will take place Dec. 1. The Wolfpack play host to Grovetown, and between the girls and boys matchups there will be a ceremony to remember Marshall.
If you enjoyed watching Marshall during his playing days and would like to pay tribute to a former Columbia County great, make arrangements to attend this event.
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