The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 25, 2013

Where the heart is...

Edgewood’s Eli Kalil has so much for which to be thankful

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Think back to when you were a teenager. What was your did you love most in the world? Maybe it was your first car. Maybe it was your high school boyfriend or girlfriend. Or, maybe it was playing a sport.

Now, imagine, through no fault of your own, that was taken away from you.

That was the situation Edgewood junior Eli Kalil found himself in over the past year and a half.

It’s been a long and frustrating journey for the 6-foot-3 Warrior, who prior to this season, hadn’t played in high school basketball game since his freshman season...

The Transfer

After playing his freshman season on the Lakeside Dragons JV basketball team, Kalil made the determination Lakeside wasn’t the place for him, opting instead to transfer to Edgewood, under the impression he would be allowed to play right away.

That turned out to not be the case and he was forced to sit out his sophomore year because of OHSAA transfer rules.

“The year he sat out it was kinda hard cuz I wanted him to come around and do things,” Edgewood coach John Bowler said, “but it was kind of hard on him because he didn’t want to come around too much cuz he missed it so much. Playing at the YMCA and playing at the rec center is nowhere near playing varsity. The intensity is not there. The defense is not there.

“But I know he played, I know he lifted weights and that really helped a lot.”

For Kalil, adjusting to the speed of the game was one of the toughest things.

“It was hard to adjust to the speed of the game, not a lot of people realize til you sit out that year that the speed of the game really changes,” he said. “Especially from playing JV my freshman year, sitting out the whole sophomore year then having to go right into varsity action, it’s a whole different speed. It changes.”

So, Kalil spent his year playing as much as he can whether it was at the local YMCA or a playground, constantly getting his hands on a basketball.

When he wasn’t playing, he was lifting weights, working to strengthen his body and get ready for the speed and physicality of the varsity schedule that awaited him.

Over that time, though, Kalil was having migraines and another road block presented itself on his return to the hardwood...

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