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Examiner
  • Trojans have fun experience at CBE

  • St. Mary’s High School coaches Byron Jones and Krista Daniels, their boys and girls junior varsity and varsity basketball teams and about 150 of their close, personal fans and friends spent a memorable Tuesday evening at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) in downtown Kansas City.

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  • St. Mary’s High School coaches Byron Jones and Krista Daniels, their boys and girls junior varsity and varsity basketball teams and about 150 of their close, personal fans and friends spent a memorable Tuesday evening at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) in downtown Kansas City.
    “This is about the coolest thing I’ve ever done with my team,” said St. Mary’s Michael Monteleone, a senior on the varsity boys basketball team. “This shows how much the coaches care about us. This will put us on the basketball map.”
    Jones, the Trojans’ second-year boys basketball coach, arranged through a friend who works at the CBE, for the St. Mary’s teams to play some practice games in front of friends, family and Trojan fans on the CBE court at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City.
    “I bet we had 150-plus fans,” Jones said, “and you have to remember, we’re not that big of a school. We handed out flyers about the event at the last football game and the response was great.
    “The kids had a great time, and so did the fans. We want to make this an annual event.”
    The College Basketball Experience, which houses college memorabilia and will be the site of Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, also features a nearly full-size court with bleachers.
    “We filled the bleachers,” Jones said. “The court is about 10 feet short of being a regulation size court, and it was great to have both boys and girls teams down there and all the fans.”
    Daniels, the girls second-year coach, said she won’t soon forget the magical evening.
    “I have to admit, it was pretty special,” she said. “When they turned down the lights and lit up the players for their introductions, I just looked at the kids. And the looks on their faces was something I’ll never forget.”
    St. Mary’s senior Shauna Bauml said the girls team visited the CBE last season, but that Tuesday night’s trip was much more special.
    “The last time we went, we went on a Saturday after practice and had a great time,” the senior standout said, “but tonight was just unbelievable with the lights, the player introductions, the music and getting to practice on the court.
    “We don’t get to do things like that at St. Mary’s, and none of us will ever forget it. It was just so totally different than anything we had ever done in the past. And sometimes, different is really, really good.”
    The boys played a 10-minute junior varsity game, the junior varsity and varsity girls played a 15-minute game and the boys varsity played a 20-minute game.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It was just so cool,” Monteleone said. “I’ve been down there a couple of times, but I’d never been down there and played on the court. It just makes you wish the season started tomorrow.”
    After a season-opening tournament, the boys’ regular season starts with a visit to Van Horn High School on Dec. 9.
    “We can walk to their place, it’s so close,” Jones said. “We want to fill their place with our fans and show them what St. Mary’s basketball is all about.
    “We’re all so excited right now,” Jones added. “We want to make this an annual event. I know we’re in Missouri, but I’d like to make it like “Late Night” at Allen Fieldhouse (at the University of Kansas), where all the fans look forward to it and want to be a part of it.”
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