Playing like they mean it

Elite league is an opportunity to play high-level basketball for fun.
Sunday, February 6, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:46 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

A player joked, “Did you see that shot? It was horrible.”

Players in RecSports’ new mens’ elite league are lighthearted and don’t take the game too seriously. Competition is fierce, but students are looking for a good time.

Dozens gathered to watch their friends and frat brothers have fun and play a good game of basketball.

Cheers erupted from the crowd as a Lambda Chi Alpha player sank a 3-pointer to reduce the lead to two.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” cried a Lambda Chi player from the bench.

Teams are comprised of fraternity brothers, groups of friends and students who recently met.

“I met these guys at the Rec Center and we became friends and decided to put a team together,” senior David Sexton of the STOUT team said .

The athletes in the new elite league are quite different from the average player. Almost all of them played competitively in high school, and the new league gives them a chance to relive that experience.

“RecSports gives players a competitive team atmosphere that they had in high school,” RecSports Coordinator Tim Lewis said.

“This league is a lot more competitive than the other ones (in the rec program),” junior Jon Lusardi said as he watched his Lambda Chi Alpha brothers warming up.

RecSports still hosts a non-competitive basketball league, but some players jump at the chance to face tougher opponents.

“The elite league gives real competition,” said junior Jacob Fishburn of The Roosters and a former varsity player at School of the Osage in Lake Ozark.

The name “The Roosters” is an inside joke and the nickname of a team friend that “wasn’t so good,” according to Fishburn.

“In other leagues, you don’t see a good team until the playoffs,” Fishburn said. “Our game tonight was like a playoff game.”

RecSports also serves as an inexpensive alternative to community leagues.

“Men’s leagues cost $65 a person in my hometown and they are about $15 a person here,” Fishburn said.

A minimum of three players must have played high school varsity basketball for a team to enter the league.

“We use these requirements to uphold the competitive quality of the league,” Lewis said.

It’s not often that MU students elicit positive reaction when they make a good play at the Rec Complex. But excellent play and sportsmanship from players in the new elite league give spectators something to cheer about.

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