High school seniors to play in first Missouri Challenge May 29-30 at Columbia College

The Challenge, replacing the All-Star competition in Springfield, will be held in the Southwell Complex.

Columbia College and the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association have teamed up to host the inaugural Missouri Challenge. The Challenge brings together some of the most talented high school seniors and coaches from throughout Missouri. The All-Star competition was previously held in Springfield, Mo.

The tournament format will be an eight-team, single-elimination tournament for both boys and girls on teams representing the association's eight districts. The top graduating seniors were selected by members of the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

The teams will be coached by MBCA members. Seeds for both boys and girls are ranked No. 1 through 8, and cover all areas of the state: St. Louis received the top seed in the boys tournament. Kansas City follows St. Louis, then southeast, southwest, northeast, south central, central and northwest. For the girls, southwest is No. 1 and generally considered the team to beat, followed by St. Louis, Kansas City, central, south central, northeast, southeast and northwest.

Bob Burchard, Columbia College's head men's basketball coach, director of athletics and MBCA member, was instrumental in bringing the Challenge to Columbia College. The college is more centrally located than Springfield, and has a history of collaborating with elementary and high school athletics.

Southwell Complex
"We are honored to host the Missouri Challenge," said Burchard. "And we look forward to these talented seniors competing at Southwell every year. We think Southwell is the right venue, at the right place; the Challenge also gives the seniors and their parents a chance to see just how committed Columbia College is to athletics."

Admission is $5 for adults and students. First-round games begin at 9:30 a.m. May 29. Semifinals begin May 30, with the girls' championship at about 6 p.m. and the boys' title game at about 7:30 p.m.

Directions to the Southwell Complex