Back in late January, I was reminded about events from 20 years ago. The 1993/1994 Maryville Spoofhound basketball team had been invited back to this year’s state championships for a reunion.
That reunion took place last Saturday.
Five of the fifteen players (and all of the coaches) from this photo were back at Mizzou.
The “state bound Hounds” were back again.
It was a great day.
We arrived at Mizzou Arena around 3:30, and watched the crowds pouring in for the class 3 championship game, looking for familiar faces. As each family arrived, there were introductions… inviting our families to meet people they’d perhaps only heard of in stories of yesteryear. We smiled and laughed at how we’d all changed. Once everyone arrived, we migrated indoors, and spent time in a room together catching up. MSHSAA staff filled us in on the details of the day: that we would have courtside seats, and would be introduced at center court during halftime.
Awkward, for sure… but yet another memory to share with old friends.
The game was great, but all of us couldn’t help but be amazed by how the game has changed. Or at least how much we’d have heard about it from Coach K had we played the way some of these extremely talented young men did.
Missed lay-ups, courtesy of not using the backboard? Definitely would have cost us some laps.
Forced shots? Definitely would have gotten someone pulled from the game for a bit.
Big men shooting threes? Let’s just say that most forwards never attempted one our entire time in high school.
No help-side defense? An almost unpardonable sin.
The commentary and back and forth discussion on the game was an absolute blast, especially with Coach K there confirming we still knew him so well after all this time.
Yes… the halftime introduction was a bit awkward. But it was pretty cool to be able to take our families out to see the view of the crowd from center court. Not too many people get that chance.
Dinner afterwards was great. Huge thanks to the Heidelberg for giving us a great place to re-connect, even though they were swamped. I have no idea how late everyone stayed, but the stories flowed. And flowed. And flowed. Brings a smile to my face even now just reflecting on it… knowing how much everyone enjoyed the reunion.
But the highlight of my night?
Sharing the whole thing with my family.
While my kids may not really have been able to fully appreciate how cool it was as a 17 year old kid to be part of a Final Four run, and they almost certainly don’t understand the impact the energy, enthusiasm, and unity that season seemed to inject into our town?
They could certainly appreciate spending a special moment with dad.
Forget about the glory days. What happened 20 years ago really doesn’t matter much at this point.
But memories like this draw me and my kids closer.
And that’s worth more than just about anything to me.
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