Show-Me State Games Reunite Former Tigers

1 decade 1 month 3 weeks ago August 07, 2006 Aug 7, 2006 Monday, August 07 2006 Monday, August 07, 2006 8:08:34 PM CDT in Sports

"That was awhile ago, it was fun. You know, we're all getting older, so it's always good to come out here and get some sweat going."

Greg Church, Julian Winfield and Jason Sutherland played basketball in the 30-and-older division of this year's games. They don't play as much as they used to, but they still enjoyed the chance to catch up.

"It's fun to play with those guys. Julian and Jason are a little bit younger then I am, I didn't play with them, but you know all the Mizzou players kind of have a camaraderie, and we've stayed in touch with each other and see each other and it's like one big family," said Church, MU forward from 1985-1989.

"It's always good to come back in and play with some guys that are part of the same program that you were a part of, and just to laugh and joke and share some good times," added Winfield, Tiger guard from 1993-1996.

It's tougher for Church to get up and down the court because he's 39 and pushing toward the 40-and-over league.

"I've got one more year and then I'll be 40-and-over and hopefully it'll slow down a bit," he said. "These guys, they say they're 30. I don't believe some of them. They're still pretty good, still pretty good."

They're years removed from nailing big shots and throwing down thunderous dunks in front of a packed house in Columbia, but playing in the games takes them back even years before that.

"I've been playing in the Show-Me State Games since I was probably, gosh, 7th or 8th grade. I've been playing in [them] for awhile, and it's always fun to come and play not only with your past teammates, but against some guys that you played against, maybe in high school, that live in Kansas City or Springfield. You get to play against a bunch of different people in the state, and it's just fun to be a part of."

The decibel meter isn't there and there's no crowd to push it above triple-digits even if it were. But, for these three former Tigers, being back on the hardwood together is a blast, even if they're older then 30.

Church, Winfield and Sutherland played on a team sponsored by Willie's Pub and Pool. They won their first two games before losing to the eventual champion.

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