Schuck's Clipboard

Plenty of hoops talk fills air at shootout

Victory Christian coach Marcus Dilligard | H-W Photo/Matt Schuckman
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 26, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 27, 2019 12:25 am

Marcus Dilligard found his way back to the gym. Brock Edris and Marty Hull, too.

There was plenty to see and even more to discuss.

Sure, the Quincy Shootout, a second-year event taking place at Blue Devil Gym and featuring 12 high school boys basketball games during a two-day span, is a showcase for the sport. Organizers brought in a lineup of state-ranked teams and highly sought-after recruits, all of whom lived up to the hype.

What took place in the stands around Blue Devil Gym was just as entertaining.

That's where the day was spent talking basketball.

Dilligard, the head coach at Victory Christian Center in Charlotte, N.C., and Hull, the head coach at Hannibal, went head-to-head in the 9 a.m. game. They were back for the evening session, still analyzing their teams' performances and catching up with former cohorts and friends.

Edris, the Monroe City coach whose team fell to St. Louis Christian in an early afternoon game, grabbed a bite to eat and returned. He spent the evening talking strategy, basketball and whatever else with Clark County coach Adam Rung, Quincy Notre Dame coach Kevin Meyer and others.

Every coach from every team spent a little time hanging out soaking in the atmosphere.

"Unbelievable," said Oskaloosa coach Ryan Parker, a former Culver-Stockton College assistant, when asked what he thought of the event. "It shows Quincy's basketball history really well, and you've got a bunch of good teams from all over the country. We're honored to be here."

The chatter wasn't limited to the coaches alone.

Discussions of the best players to ever play in Blue Devil Gym were had. Questions of which Quincy High School teams could compete against this field took place. Requests were made to the organizers for teams fans would like to see brought to the event in the future.

Truly historic Illinois programs like Chicago Simeon and Peoria Manual top that list.

"This isn't a shootout. It's a celebration," said Ken Richards, a Quincy native now living in Keokuk, Iowa, who has attended the shootout both years. "I've sat here and talked to people who love high school basketball. This is a bargain in that regard. Actually, it's a steal. Just imagine if a Simeon or a Lincoln or a Collinsville came here with their rich pedigree.

"Watching the games is a blast. Seeing incredible talent is incredible. But this is all about basketball, and that's so special, especially in this gym."

No matter which corner of Blue Devil Gym you ended up in, every conversation began and ended talking about basketball.

"That's why this is such a great day," said Bill Reynolds of Fowler, who has attended the event both years with his grandson. "I get to talk Blue Devil basketball with guys who played here, and I get to talk basketball with guys who really know the sport. I can't think of a better day."

As Dilligard was quick to point out before he left, it's a blessing.

"It's been great," he said. "The nostalgia of playing at QHS and everything they've done, it's been an outstanding showcase. The grace and gratitude QHS has shown us is something special.

"This is what basketball is all about."