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Youth basketball tournament raises money for Cardinal Glennon

8:23 PM, Dec 29, 2012   |    comments
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(KSDK) -- This weekend is the annual Mary McDermott Basketball Tournament in Clayton. It was created in memory of a young sports lover who died four years ago. 

Sixteen teams of third graders are playing, and every penny raised goes toward a part of the hospital that will be named after St. Louis University soccer legend Bill McDermott's late daughter.

"Mary unexpectedly passed away in December of 2008 and ever since then we wanted to do something to continue our relationship as a family with Cardinal Glennon who for all intents and purposes, the doctors and nurses, saved our twins' lives," Bill McDermott says.

He says he wanted to give back to Cardinal Glennon for ensuring his pre-mature daughters grew up.

"...all funds that we've done over the last four years and will continue to do are for the Cardiac Catherization suite to be named in honor of our daughter Mary."

The games played in this tournament are played with purpose. Tournament organizers hope the kids walk away knowing that that purpose goes way beyond the gymnasium.

"We present each kid with a t-shirt from the tournament, and bill talks to the kids, tells them what the tournament is about and thanks them on behalf of the McDermott family. To me that's the best part of the tournament," says tournament Director Steve Mattingly.

He tells us it has been a success.

"We've raised over $60,000 the last three years. But more importantly, everybody that walks in here gets the spirit of the tournament. They know what the cause is and everybody embraces it."

Other money comes from donations and a silent auction. On the block this year: shirts autographed by David Freese, Matt HollIday, Abby Wambach, David BeCkham, and more.

"We're over a quarter million dollars now. We have to get to $1.5 million. So it's going to be a continual race to try to do that," says McDermott.

And as long as there are third graders around to play ball, they'll be a part of that race.

The tournament wraps up Sunday afternoon. The championship rounds are at 1 PM.

If you'd like to know how you can help support the effort, you can check out the tournament webpage.





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