Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle kept saying the word ‘prospect’ as he tried to push through his post-match press conference on Monday.
Boyle’s Buffaloes had been knocked out of the NCAA tournament by Florida State, but he knew the result went far beyond a secondary concern. Coaches and players learned before heading to the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis that there had been a mass shooting Monday afternoon in Boulder, where the UC campus is located. They saw and heard the details later: Boulder Police said at least 10 people, including a town police officer, were shot dead at a local supermarket.
“I felt an emptiness in my stomach,” Boyle said of his pre-game state of mind. “Another senseless act of violence that we have experienced as a country time and time again.
“It puts this game in perspective,” he added. “It certainly puts defeat in perspective, but even if we would have won this game and celebrated our participation in Sweet 16, it would have put a damper. My heart goes out to the families who were affected and those who lost their lives. “
Boyle said he and his team decided to wait until the end of the game to discuss the incident in depth with the players.
“We didn’t have any details (before the game). There was really nothing to say,” Boyle said. “I spoke with them after the game, again from a perspective point of view. Your team’s state of mind when preparing for a game is sometimes fragile and I didn’t want to overcomplicate it. their minds, because we had to go and play the Game. “
Boyle said there was no consideration for CU’s refusal to play.
“We were not going to not play the game,” he said.
Buffaloes main guard McKinley Wright felt the weight of the news and the end of his college career come to an end as he spoke to members of the media.
“It’s a privilege to play this game, but we have to realize that life outside of basketball is real,” he said. “A lot of people have lost family members today. Cowards shot King Soopers. It sucks.
“For me, where I’m from (Wright grew up outside of Minneapolis) it happens a lot and I see it a lot. I am just hurt and devastated for these families who have to go through this. It sucks.
“It was kind of on my mind, and I thought about my life and my childhood, what I’ve been through and seeing these people and what they have to go through now.”
Now the Buffaloes will return home and try to deal with the horror with all the other residents of Boulder.
“We will be working together through this as a community. Bould is as safe a place as I have ever felt and experienced in my life, so if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.” , Boyle said. “We have to find a way to stop this thing. I don’t know the answer but we have to find a way.”
Wright’s point of view went to another place.
“Life is so much bigger than basketball,” he said. “Basketball is just a game.”