Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Billikens Seek Bonner's Bulk for Date with Russians

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Billikens Seek Bonner's Bulk for Date with Russians

Article excerpt

That old gang of Billikens is breaking up, the boys going their separate ways. Except for on the basketball court, that is.

Many of last season's seniors have continued playing together almost every weekday at the West Pine gym on St. Louis University's campus. They thought they simply were staying in shape and having fun with old friends.

As it turns out, they needed the work.

That bunch, plus a couple of others, will play the Russian National team at 7:30 tonight at the Mark Twain Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. Tickets cost $8.

Senior Billikens on hand will be Scott Highmark, Erwin Claggett, Donnie Campbell, David Robinson, Carl Turner and Eric Jones. Former Missouri player Jeff Warren, working in St. Louis, also will be on the roster as will former UMSL player Eric Lytle.

Highmark, a marketing major, has been handling most of the team's organizational duties and public relations. He has tried to contact former Billikens Anthony Bonner of the New York Knicks and Melvin Robinson, most recently of the Continental Basketball Association. No luck on Robinson.

"I'm still hoping for Anthony," Highmark said. "If he's in town, I would think he'd play. We need the big man."

From what Highmark has heard, the Russian team has at least two 7-foot players. That squad is considered as the second-best team in the world, behind only the United States' Dream Team. The Russians are touring the United States for four games before heading to Greece for a summer Olympics qualifying tournament.

"I don't think people realize how good this team is," Highmark said. "We're going to have to push the ball up the court and get a lot of transition baskets because we're going to be smaller than them. If we don't get many easy baskets, we're in trouble."

Highmark figured his team will follow many of the same methods taught by their old coach, Charlie Spoonhour, since that's been their common ground recently. …

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