Missouri Ties For Ford, Gulley
By John Helsley
Travis Ford admits he wonders what kind of reception he’ll receive in Columbia today, the former-former Tiger that he is.
Ford, you see, is two times removed from Mizzou. He played there for one fantastic season in 1989-90, serving as a backup in a backcourt that featured Anthony Peeler, before transferring to Kentucky. Ford was named to the UPI Big Eight All-Freshman team with the Tigers, after averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 assists a game.
When NCAA investigators started sniffing around the program, with probation appearing likely, Ford left for Kentucky.
Saturday, Ford returns to Mizzou.
“First time back,” Ford said this week. “Eight years ago had dinner and no one knew.”
They’ll know today.
“Will they just kill me?” Ford wondered. “I’m preparing for the worst.”
His time at Mizzou, however, was grand.
The Tigers went undefeated at home that season and were ranked No. 1 for a while. They flamed out in the NCAA Tournament, as Norm Stewart’s squads were apt to do, but the experience was special for Ford.
There student paper even held a contest, seeking nicknames for Ford. Among the entries: Hot Rod , Turbo, Maverick, Scooter, Sparky, Ford Dog or Napoleon.
“We had a great year,” Ford said. “That’s the first thing. I loved it. I loved going to school there. I loved playing for Norm Stewart. I loved it.
“Great teammates, guys I still talk to today. Anthony Peeler and Doug Smith. One of the most memorable years. I loved it there. But they got into trouble and that was the main reason I left.”
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