basketball

Details about the Drury Men’s Basketball team’s return to Springfield

Team will arrive on Tuesday, April 9

Noon: Plane arrives at the Springfield-Branson National Airport. The plane will be unloaded on the general aviation side of the airport, not the main terminal. Unloading will be at the south end of the old terminal, located at 5000 W. Kearney.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department will escort the team bus back to Drury.

12:15 p.m.: Fans who would like to greet the team will gather outside of the O’Reilly Family Event Center to prepare for the team’s arrival.

12:30 p.m.: Team arrives at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

  • Bus will pull up on Summit Street in front of O’Reilly.
  • Fans will form a human tunnel up the stairs to the main entrance of O’Reilly.
  • The team will go through the tunnel and enter the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
  • There will be a podium inside the O’Reilly Family Event Center lobby for media to place microphones.
  • President Todd Parnell will welcome everyone.
  • Coach Steve Hesser and some of the players will share their thoughts after winning Drury’s first NCAA-II basketball title.

Drury University is working with the City of Springfield to plan a celebration to recognize the three Drury teams that won three national championships in less than a month: Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving on March 9, and Men’s Basketball on April 7. The date and details of that celebration will be announced at a later date.

*Note: Times for arrival at airport and O’Reilly are approximate.

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What you need to know about Drury playing in the NCAA-II Championship

Game and broadcast information

Drury University plays Metropolitan State (Denver) in the men’s Division II NCAA Championship Game on Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m. Central Time at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Ga.

CBS will air the game live at 3 p.m. In the Ozarks, the game will air on KOLR channel 10.

KOLR10/KOZL will air a “Road to the Championship” pre-game show at the following times:

  • Friday, April 5 at 6:30 pm on KOLR Channel 10
  • Saturday, April 6 at 4:30 and 9:30 pm on KOZL Channel 27

KOLR10/KOZL will air a Championship post-game show at the following times on Sunday, April 7:

  • At 9:30 pm on KOZL Channel 27
  • At 10:30 pm on KOLR Channel 10

The radio broadcast of the game, featuring Drury alumnus and current graduate student John Miller, will be on KWTO 98.7.

Where to buy fan gear

The team store in the O’Reilly Family Event Center will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

The Drury campus bookstore will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday.

Both stores feature the new “It’s Our Time” t-shirts.

Travel plans

The faculty/staff/alumni fan bus leaves from Summit St. near the O’Reilly Family Event Center at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.

Five student buses will leave from Drury Lane on Saturday evening between 8-9 p.m.

The charter flight to Atlanta will leave from the Springfield-Branson National Airport at 8 a.m. on Sunday, April 7.

The charter plane is full, but those interested in riding a bus to Atlanta for the game, please call 417-888-4488 or 800-749-7166.

Watch parties

Off-campus watch party:  Sunday at 2 p.m. at Big Whiskey’s on Republic Road.

On-campus student watch parties: In residence halls on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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Drury instructor delivered many of his students

When a new class walks into one of Steve Grace’s classes at Drury, he’s usually met one of his students before, but he hasn’t seen them in a few decades and he probably wouldn’t recognize them anyway because most people don’t look like they did fresh out of the womb. Dr. Grace, the Egdorf Professor of Pre-Med Science at Drury, was a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology for 25 years at the Women’s Clinic in Springfield. He estimates that he’s delivered at least one of the students in just about every class he’s taught at Drury.

“It’s very interesting to see. When they’re one hour old I have no idea what they’re going to become,” Grace said.  “Usually they’re embarrassed. Mom drags them over and says ‘This is the guy who delivered you.’ It’s fun to meet them years later. That’s what I loved about obstetrics. The outcomes are usually good and everyone’s happy.”

Steve Grace

A 1968 Drury graduate, Grace returned to Springfield in 1977 following medical school at the University of Missouri and residency in Colorado. When he retired in 2001, he reached out to his former Drury classmate, Biology Professor Don Deeds, and inquired about teaching part-time.

The 66-year-old usually teaches two classes per semester, mostly to pre-health students, in subjects such as cellular biology, embryology, physiology, toxicology and epidemiology.

While the Parkview High School graduate is an accomplished physician and instructor, he may be best-known on-campus for something he did as a freshman. In a road basketball game at Missouri Valley in February 1965, Grace poured in 45 points. That performance still stands as Drury’s all-time single game scoring record, and it earned him a spot in the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame. Grace was also a member of the tennis team.

Thirty-three years had passed between Grace’s graduation and his return to Drury as an instructor, and much had changed, “The depth and number of courses available to biology majors is incredible, when I was an undergraduate biology major I had to take just about every biology class available.” But some things were the same, “I had (chemistry professor) Dr. Rabindra Roy in his first year at Drury and he’s still teaching, and my fraternity brother Todd Parnell is now the Drury president.”

“I tell my students that Drury is a great stepping stone. They may never use what I’m teaching them again, but they have to do well here to get into medical school, and they have to do well there to get into a good residency,” Grace said. “Drury provides them an excellent opportunity to move on to that next step.”

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