The Missouri football team traded in its cleats for sneakers Wednesday in its annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
“It’s cool, you get a chance to get away from football for a while and just have fun,” junior linebacker Steve Redmond said.
According to Chad Moller, director of media relations, this is the fourth year the team has held the event, in which the entire team, including trainers and coaches, played on 18 courts at Hearnes Fieldhouse.
Senior cornerback Darnell Terrell and senior wide receiver Jason Ray randomly organized the teams. Quarterbacks coach David Yost created brackets.
The idea for a 3-on-3 tournament came from Ohio State, Yost said.
“We ran it by our players, and it was something they wanted to do,” he said.
Yost and most of the players say that playing together on the basketball court is great for team building.
“You have to talk to each other while you’re on the court,” Redmond said, “so it’s a great way to get to know each other.”
Tigers coach Gary Pinkel agreed it is a good opportunity for his team to come together and have fun.
“We’re a tight group already, but this just adds to it,” he said.
Pinkel said he enjoys the tournament because the players “all think they’re great.” He said he enjoys watching the linemen handle the ball, because normally in football, they don’t get that opportunity.
“Everybody always talks about how good they are,” Redmond said. “This is a chance to go out there and prove it.”
Yost said that always doesn’t happen, though
“Some of the guys look really bad,” he said.
Once the games start, the athletes competitive nature takes over.
“We want to win,” said Redmond, who noted that the games are usually close.
— Nick Snow
GOLF: The 2007 Missouri Women’s Golf Association’s Junior Girls Championship takes place today through Friday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course. The 36-hole tournament includes 49 golfers ages 11 to 18.
Kelsey Meyer of Chesterfield, who will be a freshman on the Missouri women’s golf team in the fall, is defending champion. Three Columbia residents will also compete, including Rock Bridge High School students Anna Coil and Danielle Keller and Southern Boone student Naomi Starr.
NCAA TRACK: A sixth-place finish in the long jump was Missouri senior Bjorn Sommerfeldt’s best effort Wednesday in decathalon competition at the NCAA championships in Sacramento, Calif., Sommerfeldt was also 18th in the high jump, 12th in the shot put, 21st in the 100-meter dash and 24th in the 400-meter dash.