COLUMBIA - The KOMU Sports Department likes to keep tabs on former Mizzou athletes after they transition into the professional world. For example, after Phil Pressey left the university a year early to pursue a career in the NBA, KOMU Sports decided to follow his journey. Some viewers have a bone to pick with Pressey and asked why we still run stories about him now that he's no longer playing in Columbia.
For example, viewer Linda Vollmer wrote on our facebook page, "Really tired of hearing about Phil Pressey! We in my house are glad he's gone. I wish him the best but please equal air for other players or shut up about the whole deal!!"
Nevertheless, KOMU Sports Director Chris Gervino said Pressey's story is compelling and worth following. "He just played here a few months ago, and part of his story is he left school early to go pro. So we're following that story: is he going to make it after his big decision to give up another year to go pro so I think it's definitely newsworthy," Gervino said.
Pressey's case is a special one,too, according to KOMU Executive Producer Randy Reeves. Reeves said, "As leader of the team, face of the program really for the last two years, he's been kind of a lightning rod for any kind of criticism whether the team achieved what people wanted or not so certainly that plays a roll in the criticism."
Because he was such an identifiable figure at Mizzou, Pressey continues to attract attention in his efforts to break into the NBA. For example, Gervino said, "I went to the supermarket the other day and I was stopped by a couple people of people asking about Phil Pressey: is he going to make the boston celtics how's he doing. Somebody else noticed that he'd been doing well what did I think? "
The timing of Pressey's move also plays a part in the Sports Department's coverage of Pressey, because July is a notoriously slow time of the year when it comes to sports news.