Lincoln Fun in the Sun
The Lincoln University Blue Tigers had one final workout in Jefferson City on Friday before heading to California. They're spending Christmas break playing in the first Black College Hoops Classic in Los Angeles.
"You know, we kind of hate being away from our families and that type of thing," said Coach Terry Lincoln, "but we're really looking forward to having a good time."
Sophomore guard Kyle Wilde said, "Ecstatic! I mean, it's going to be so much fun. We're going to be out in 75-degree weather doing something we love to do, and just playing basketball every day. What more can you ask for?"
But, the California trip won't be all fun in the sun for the Blue Tigers. They face Division II national champion Virginia Union in the first round.
"We want this one," said junior forward Taeshaud Jackson. "Championship, well, it's like a championship for us. We're playing a championship team."
Senior guard Titus Byrd said, "You know, we've got a young team, people not as experienced, especially in that atmosphere. And we're playing against the number-one team, so it's going to be hard."
Whatever the outcome, the games should help build character for the struggling Blue Tigers.
"Great character. I love this group of guys we've got," Lincoln said. "They work hard. Right now, we're just in that mode where we're not playing very well. We're playing in spurts."
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The tournament benefits several charities, including the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles and the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation.
Lincoln will play at least three games in the tournament.