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On November 30 and December 2, Norfolk Academy hosted the D.A. Taylor Memorial Middle School Basketball Challenge, which honors the legacy of D.A. Taylor '96.

D.A. sadly passed away during his junior year, after a battle with meningitis. But he left a lasting impact on the Norfolk Academy community and beyond through his kindness. Gary Laws, who was Middle School Director when D.A. was in school, spoke on November 28 at Chapel. D.A. was brilliant, a high honors student, Laws said. He was strong, fast, and hard-working, a successful student-athlete in basketball, football, and lacrosse. But his most notable attribute was his kindness.

Laws highlighted one speaker at his memorial service, a young girl who knew D.A. only because they rode the same bus to school. They were in different grades and had different friends. But D.A. made sure that the girl felt welcomed each and every day on the bus.

“D.A. was the epitome of all that is good," Laws said.

The challenge helps support the D.A. Taylor Charitable Foundation, which family and friends created to provide scholarships to students from around Virginia who embody the same positive attributes as D.A. Boys and girls teams from throughout Hampton Roads played in 27 games over nine hours, beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Saturday.

A highlight of the event is the sportsmanship awards that go to teams that show the most courtesy to opponents, referees, and fans, upholding D.A.'s legacy. Guest speakers address the teams before games, teaching about D.A. and reminding them that the goal of the event is to have fun and show good sportsmanship. Winning is secondary.

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