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Prep Zone

Schwab: Marmion students unveil 3-on-3 tourney for a cause

Marmion senior Michael Montalbano and his classmates were told there might not be enough time this month to pull off the 3-on-3 basketball tournament they proposed as a fundraiser.

The marketing students are learning first-hand word can spread like wildfire when there is an event that excites the masses.

Montalbano said Monday night that 22 teams already had signed up for the tournament – planned for May 17 at Marmion’s fieldhouse – and the field is expected to continue expanding in the days to come.

“I was shocked,” Montalbano said. “We weren’t really sure with turnout, how it was going to be. We thought we’d get it pretty big but we didn’t expect to get 22 teams this fast.”

Montalbano, JR Fredstrom, Brock Krueger, Jake Hutchison, Donovan Stanton and Drew Signa are in teacher Charles Brown’s marketing class. Class members were asked to devise a marketing plan to help raise money toward a scholarship program for prospective Marmion students that might not be able to afford the school’s tuition.

“I just talked to a kid this weekend that said he wanted to go to Marmion, but his parents couldn’t afford it,” Montalbano said. “Marmion is almost $10,000 a year now, so it’s hard, especially with the economy and stuff, for kids to afford it. It doesn’t sound too appealing when parents are getting ready to send kids off to college and have to afford that. 

“We thought anything could help and just doing something as simple as this tournament, maybe one kid that [can’t afford] to come, our project can help them afford it a little better, so hopefully they can come to Marmion. … All of that adds up from our groups [in the class].”

Teams of three or four players can enter at a cost of $15. The entry fee was bumped up from $10 to accommodate prizes for the top teams.

The tournament will feature a broad range of basketball ability, but there is some legitimate hoops talent on board. Montalbano said one team that includes St. Charles North hoops standout Jake Ludwig, his former North teammate, Camden Cotter, plus Jack Maley and Johnny Tate is among the likely favorites.

Montalbano, a football standout at Marmion, wouldn’t mind lacing ’em up himself, but he and his group-mates will be focusing on organizational duties on tournament day, including refereeing and making sure the bracket flows as planned.

Montalbano said games will take place with running clocks, with free throw shooting to serve as a tiebreaker if games are tied.

“It’s a lot to get ready and get organized, but we’re going to try to do it as effectively and efficiently as possible so we can get people in and out, and no one has to [sit around] waiting or anything,” Montalbano said.

Lacrosse events to boost Salvation Army: Marmion will host its seventh annual Cadet Challenge from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Fifteen teams from around the area will compete in the three-division, round-robin style event.

As part of the event, Marmion lacrosse and Reebie Storage and Moving Co. will collect nonperishable food items and raise funds for The Salvation Army.

Additionally, a “Crosstown Classic” for St. Charles lacrosse is scheduled for May 16 at St. Charles East’s Norris Stadium.

The East and North boys lacrosse teams will square off at 7:30 p.m., to be preceded by the St. Charles girls co-op facing St. Francis at 5:30 p.m. and an East vs. North JV game at 4 p.m.

Canned foods, toiletries and other nonperishables will be gathered for The Salvation Army in St. Charles at the event.

• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or

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