By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
Events surrounding St. Joseph’s hosting of the NCAA Division II Women’s Elite Eight National Championship Tournament get underway this weekend.
The St. Joseph Sports Commission and Missouri Family Sports host a youth basketball clinic at East Hills Shopping Center Saturday, beginning at 11am.
Sports Commission Director Brett Easley says a youth clinic featuring former Missouri State standout Jackie Stiles next week on the Missouri Western State University St. Joseph campus is already full.
“If you don’t know anything at all about Jackie, here’s the one thing you need to know that will tell you, oh my goodness, she’s a pretty special individual,” Easley tells host Barry Birr on the KFEQ Hotline. “Jackie was the all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball history, across all levels. That’s not Division I, Division II, Division III. That is all levels of collegiate basketball. Now that record was broken a couple of years ago. So now she’s third on the all-time list.”
Stiles, who grow up in Caflin, Kansas, finished her collegiate career at the then-Southwest Missouri State University of Springfield with 3,393 points, a 26.3 per game average. Stiles led SMS to the Final Four in 2001. She was the 2001 Rookie of the Year with the Portland Fire of the WNBA.
Though the clinic with Stiles is full, a youth basketball clinic is being held at East Hills Shopping Center this Saturday, March 18th. It begins at 11am with the Sports Commission and Missouri Family Sports promising to turn the mall into a basketball court that day. The clinic is open to children of all ages. It is free. No registration is required.
“This is really a celebration of women’s basketball here in St. Joe over the course of five days. We didn’t want it to be just two days of games and best of luck the rest of the way,” Easley says. “It’s really a highlight of St. Joe and a highlight that our community hosts events of this nature very, very well. We want our visitors to feel welcome, but we also want to make sure that we engage our community and our surrounding areas as well and this is just another way to do that.”
The clinic is scheduled to run until three o’clock. There will be contests and skills challenges, prizes and swag.
The women’s Elite Eight games begin on Monday at the St. Joseph Civic Arena.