Grizzlies get national exposure in ‘Basketball Times’
WEST PLAINS, Mo. – In an era when national sports publications focus on basketball news coming from the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Kansas or Kentucky, it’s considered quite a coup when one of those publications includes a piece on a junior college program.
That’s exactly what has happened in the September 2012 issue of “Basketball Times,” and the featured junior college team is the Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzlies.
“This is a huge honor to have a feature story in this publication,” Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Yancey Walker said. “To give everyone an idea of how big, the first story in this issue is written by Dick Vitale, and later on there is a story by Bob Ryan who writes for The Boston Globe and is a regular panelist on ESPN’s ‘The Sports Reporters.’ This is great publicity for the university, the community and our program.”
A monthly publication that declares itself “the REAL voice of collegiate basketball,” the tabloid-sized magazine decided to highlight the story of sophomore center Keaton Jackson’s road to West Plains in its most recent issue.
At a tall, lanky 6-foot, 10-inches and 180 pounds, Jackson, a 2011 graduate of Prairie High School in Vancouver, Wash., didn’t receive any offers to play D-1 collegiate ball following his high school career, but he didn’t let that stop his dream. He did what many players with such aspirations do and decided to go the junior college route. In the article, Walker said he expects Jackson to get some offers from well-respected programs in low to mid-major conferences before the early signing period.
“This article all came to fruition because the junior college writer was looking for a human interest story for this issue,” Walker said. “I told him about Keaton and how the exposure from being at Missouri State-West Plains would most likely earn him several NCAA Division I offers, unlike when he arrived.
“Really, Keaton’s situation isn’t unlike that of former Grizzlies David Fisher and Eric Judd,” the coach continued. “They came here needing exposure from a top two-year program, and they left here and played at Colorado State and Missouri State, respectively.”
Walker said he’s thrilled the Grizzlies and the West Plains community is receiving national attention in such a respected publication among basketball enthusiasts. “It is simply humbling to know that people all over the United States are going to read about Coach Mike Krzyzewski from Duke University and then about Missouri State University-West Plains,” Walker said.
For more information about the Grizzly Basketball program, visit the team’s website at http://www.wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/bb.htm or call the Grizzly Basketball office at 417-255-7993.
Filed Under: Basketball