Majerus Made Major Impact on Lives of Players - The Missourian: Sports

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Majerus Made Major Impact on Lives of Players

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Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 4:15 pm

News of the death of Rick Majerus stunned the basketball world.

And that news particularly hit hard here, where cousins Luke Meyer and Paul Eckerle, both Borgia graduates, played under Majerus at St. Louis University.

Majerus, 64, died Saturday of heart failure in Los Angeles. He was the Billikens’ head coach from 2007-12. The school only recently announced that he wouldn’t be back after taking a leave of absence.

“His love in life was basketball, but his mission was the livelihood and success of his players,” Eckerle said. “His unmatched mastery of the game and his contributions to the programs at SLU and Utah are what will make him a hall of famer, but his impact on the future of his players and genuine concern for their well-being are what make him a hero.”

Meyer said that Majerus always kept the welfare of his players as the top priority, making sure that they didn’t forget the “student” part of “student-athlete.”

“He loved basketball, but always put education first,” Meyer said. “He did everything in his power to ensure that every one of his players graduated. I will take with me the many memorable stories from practice and road trips (there were plenty). No question he was a good coach, but more importantly he was a good person who would go out of his way to help you out. Coach Majerus was an unforgettable coach and will be missed.”

Meyer and Eckerle played together during the 2007-08 season, Majerus’ first with the school.

Meyer was a senior when Majerus was hired prior to the 2007-08 season. That season, he averaged 31.3 minutes with 8.4 points, and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Following his senior season, Luke went on to play professionally in Australia for three seasons.

“I was sad to hear about the passing of Coach Majerus,” Luke said. “He was a great coach and truly wanted the best for each of his players. I only played one year for him, but in that short time he taught me a lot about the game of basketball.”

Eckerle was a freshman recruit on that 2007-08 team and averaged 18.1 minutes, 3.8 points and 1.3 assists per game that season.

Paul played through the 2010-11 season, missing 2009-10 due to knee surgery. With a year of eligibility left, he decided to give up basketball for medical school and he’s still at Saint Louis University in that capacity.

“For four years, he was the persistent and unwavering voice in my head,” Eckerle said. “On the court, his instructions and demands were constantly resonating in my mind as if they had somehow become an innate part of my own thought process. Any of his players can affirm this, as they find themselves unconsciously repeating his words and quoting his many idioms and sayings. I find myself using his words in everyday life even outside of the discussion of basketball or sport. This reflects the influence coach had on his players both on the court and in life.”

Meyer said Majerus left a lasting impression on each of the players he coached.

“We had basketball binders that we would take to each practice and film session and it was basically another class because he would constantly be teaching you, breaking down the game in a way that made sense. His attention to detail and his preparation were incredible. After playing for him, you watch the game a little differently.”

Eckerle was around the program for the entire Majerus run with the Billikens and the loss of a mentor has hit hard.

“Our success in basketball was always second to our growth as young men of perseverance and integrity,” Eckerle said. “His emphasis on doing things ‘the right way’ was particularly striking and an explicit example of how his basketball instruction was made easily applicable to the way we conduct ourselves in society. It was often difficult, however, to realize the impact this had as it was happening. To most his methods and words taken out of context may seem harsh and uncompromising; nonetheless, it was the very nature of his methods that made them so effective. It is largely in hindsight that I have gained this perspective, and only now can I truly appreciate all the things Coach Majerus did for me. So one may see how I might characterize these past days as paradoxical. Whenever I find myself uttering his words as if they were my own, I’m reminded of the sorrow of his absence; yet, I’m deeply warmed by the inherent wisdom those words contain.”

/sports

Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Senior Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Daniel Boone 14, Pacific 3

*Washington 20, Sullivan 5

Wednesday, July 2

*Daniel Boone 8, Pacific 2

*Washington 11, St. Peters 1

Thursday, July 3

*Washington 11, St. Charles 0

Friday, July 4

*Pacific at St. Peters    1:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

*Washington 20, Pacific 1

Sunday, July 6

*Washington 11, Warrenton 2

Monday, July 7

Washington 9, Creve Coeur 7

Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament

Wednesday, July 9

Washington 7, Gravette Lions 0

Thursday, July 10

Washington 4, Post 339 West (Bellevue, Neb.) 2

Friday, July 11

Washington 14, Geiger Redi-Mix (Leavenworth, Kan.) 0

Washington 4, Hawthorne Outlaws (Lee's Summit) 2

Saturday, July 12

Washington vs. TBA, quarterfinals, TBA

Sunday, July 13

Semifinal Games, 11 a.m.

Championship, 2 p.m.

Junior Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Union 5, New Haven 0

*Union 7, New Haven 4

*St. Charles 12, Pacific 5

Thursday, July 3

*Union 13, Hannibal 2

*Union 10, Hannibal 3

*Elsberry at Pacific    7 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

*Daniel Boone at Pacific (DH)    10 a.m.

Union 6, Crocker 5

Union 13, Crocker 7

Freshman Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Washington 16, Pacific 1

Wednesday, July 2

*Washington 11, St. Peters 0

Ninth District Tournament Schedules

Junior Legion

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union 7, Wentzville 1

G10 Elsberry 3, St. Charles 2

Friday, July 11

G11 Washington 12, St. Peters 11 (10 innings)

G12 Elsberry 6, Union 3

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Peters vs. Elsberry, 2 p.m.

G14 Championship — Washington vs. G13 winner, 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — G14 winner vs. G14 loser, 2 p.m.

Ninth District Tournament Schedules

Freshman Legion

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 St. Peters 11, Hannibal 9

G10 Elsberry-Winfield 13, Wentzville 4

Friday, July 11

G12 St. Peters vs. Elsberry-Winfield, 6 p.m.

G11 Washington 6, St. Charles 0, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Charles vs. G12 winner, 1 p.m.

G14 Championship — Washington vs. G13 winner, 4 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — G14 winner vs. G14 loser, 1 p.m.

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

7-11 at Division Meet, Westminster Christian

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    8 a.m.

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    6 p.m.

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    8 a.m.

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

Great Midwest Football League

July 5

Missouri Cyclones 22, Midwest Chargers 14

July 12

Missouri Cyclones at Missouri Valley Pitbulls, St. Charles High School, 5 p.m.

Ninth District Standings

July 1, 2014

District Games Only

Senior Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

West    11    2

Daniel Boone 262    9    3

Washington 218    11    5

St. Charles 312    9    5

Elsberry 226    8    5

Wentzville 323    5    5

St. Peters 313    7    7

Pacific 320    3    10

Warrenton 122    0    10

Sullivan 18    1    12

2014 Final Standings

Junior Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

Elsberry 226    20    2

Union 297    19    3

Washington 218    18    4

St. Charles 312    14    8

St. Peters 313    12    10

Wentzville 323    12    10

Hannibal 55    10    12

New Haven 366    9    13

Daniel Boone 262    5    14

Warrenton 122    3    16

Pacific 320    3    15

Sullivan 18    0    20

Freshman Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

St. Charles 312    20    0

Washington 218    17    3

Hannibal 55    16    4

Elsberry-Winfield 226    14    6

Wentzville 323    9    11

Warrenton 122    8    12

West    7    13

St. Peters 313    6    14

New Haven 366    5    15

Pacific 320    4    16

Elsberry 226    4    16

*Indicates League Games

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