COLUMBIA – Brennan Church left his backpack at school on Tuesday. He didn't do his homework.
Church, a junior, got to miss a chunk of class the following day. He and five other Father Tolton boys' basketball players attended a luncheon on Wednesday to look ahead to Sunday's 21st annual Show Me State Shootout at Mizzou Arena.
Along with Tolton, Hickman boys and 10 other teams will compete in Sunday's showcase event. Each of the 12 competing coaches brought a handful of players to the luncheon. Church and his teammates said they would take the catered food over school lunch any day.
As for Tolton point guard Isaiah Wilson, this experience is brand new.
"I played in Mizzou Arena at camps when I was younger, but this will be a little different playing a real high school game," the freshman said. "And the food, man. It's really good."
Hoss's Market catered the food to the luncheon. It smelled like Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey and bread rolls were the first foods gone. Wilson, and many others, got seconds.
On Sunday, Tolton will play Iberia at 12:40 p.m. Tolton's two tallest players are 6-foot-6. They will have to stop Iberia's Dexter Frisbie, a 6-10, 15-year-old sophomore who wears size 19 shoes.
"I'm glad I don't have to feed him," Frisbie's coach Steve Scholfield joked.
The other local competitor in the Shootout, Hickman, will play Hazelwood Central at 2:20 p.m.
Supervising editor is Mark Selig.