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  1. Sports

Future football stars got start on hoops dream team

Cambridge Christian's Richard Gouraige and Andrew Cunningham, Jefferson's Jermaine Eskridge and Berkeley Prep's Nick Petit-Frere are all ranked among the top 300 players in the country for the 2018 class by ESPN.

Imagine if those four players joined forces on the same team.

Six years ago they did — on the same AAU basketball team in Tampa. The quartet has since gravitated toward football, where they are major Division I-A prospects. But their friendships started in hoops.

Richard Gouraige, Cambridge Christian

Position: OL/DL

ESPN 300 rank: 19th

Quotable: "It's really cool because we played on the same team and we're getting looked at by colleges so I mean it's a dream come true. I remember we won a championship at a big tournament in AAU and that showed us we had great team bonding."

Nicholas Petit-Frere, Berkeley Prep

Position: OL

ESPN 300 rank: 23rd

Jermaine Eskridge, Jefferson

Position: ATH

ESPN 300 rank: 148th

Quotable: "We all became good friends playing basketball and still keep in touch. Football was always my sport, something I played since I was about 5. I knew I was a good football player but did not know I would get to this level. It's crazy to think where I'm at now. Not just me but all the other guys on that AAU team."

Andrew Cunningham, Cambridge Christian

Position: RB

ESPN 300 rank: 295th

Quotable: "Playing with those guys taught me a lot. We all come from different situations and being on that team was just a great thing and made us better people now. We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for that team, so playing with those guys definitely makes me look back on a lot of things. I always loved basketball but not as much as football. Football was my first love and basketball was my second."