Wofford College men's basketball coach Mike Young remembered the practices when Eric Marshall would take a break to say hello to Young's children.
Greenbrier coach Garrett Black told a similar story of how Marshall entertained Black's young children at Wolfpack practices.
Marshall cared about people, they said.
Marshall, the former Greenbrier and Wofford basketball standout who died in April at age 24, was remembered Tuesday during a ceremony at halftime of Greenbrier's home game with Grovetown. Marshall's No. 20 was retired and his family was given Marshall's framed Greenbrier jerseys.
"Take care of the little people," Young told the crowd. "He did it. He always took time out."
Cheerleaders moved through the crowd during the games, collecting money for the Eric Marshall Memorial Fund, which will provide scholarship money for an area athlete. Wofford basketball T-shirts branded with Marshall's name and number were sold at the gym's entrance, with proceeds going to the fund. The event raised $1,000.
For the ceremony, Marshall's former teammates were asked to stand near midcourt, followed by Marshall's family.
Marshall's parents, Patrick and Wilhelmina, were joined by his wife, Tanya, and their two sons, Isaiah and Caleb. The family was greeted with a standing ovation as they took the floor.
"We're just so grateful to the community and to Greenbrier," Patrick said. "I miss him. I miss seeing him."
Eric Marshall was remembered Tuesday as one of the best basketball players to come out of the area.
Black, an assistant coach when Marshall arrived as a junior in 2001, told of how the Wolfpack had only one victory before Marshall became eligible before a Christmas tournament. With Marshall, Greenbrier won the tournament.
Young, who made the trip Tuesday from Spartanburg, S.C., recalled the night Marshall scored 28 points during a game against Cincinnati. An opposing coach told Young after the game that Marshall was the best player on the floor.
"And he was," Young said. "It wasn't even close."
Marshall died in April after collapsing during a pick-up basketball game. He graduated from Greenbrier in 2003 after he was named The Augusta Chronicle Boys Basketball Player of the Year. He was twice named The Columbia County News-Times Player of the Year, which will be known as the Eric Marshall Award starting in 2010.
The Greenbrier locker room, redone before the start of the season, includes a locker bearing Marshall's name and number. The room features a framed photograph of Marshall and a scrap of cloth bearing his initials and number. Greenbrier's jerseys this season feature an "E.M. #20" patch. Wofford's jerseys bear a similar patch.
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