Missouri senior guard Morgan Eye’s phone rang Sunday as she soaked up the final day of spring break in her hometown of Montrose, Mo.
Tigers women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton was on the other end.
“It was just small talk at first, so I thought she was just kind of checking in on me and how I was doing,” said Eye, whose Missouri career ended Thursday with a third-round loss at Michigan in the WNIT.
Pingeton had ulterior motives, but she let her son, Blake, deliver the news.
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“Blake has something to tell you,” Pingeton said before handing the phone to her 8-year-old son, who has made several trips with the team and became something of an unofficial mascot.
“You got invited to the three-point competition,” Blake bellowed into the phone.
As it turns out, Eye’s career with the Tigers isn’t finished just yet. She is one of six sharpshooters who was invited to the College Slam Dunk & Three-Point Championships, which will be televised live on ESPN at 6 p.m. Thursday from Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“The biggest thing for me is I get to put my jersey on one more time,” said Eye, who owns MU records for most three-pointers in a game, season and career. “That will be a lot of fun.”
Eye put the three-point competition on her career bucket three years ago.
“After my freshman year, we had end-of-the-season meetings and we talked about goals I wanted for my career,” Eye said, recalling a spring 2012 meeting with Pingeton. “I remember telling her, ‘You know, I’d really like to go to that three-point shooting contest.’ … It’s kind of cool that it’s come full circle and I get to go.”
Eye, who owns SEC records for three-pointers made in a game and season, will compete against DePaul’s Brittany Hrynko, California-Davis’ Kelsey Harris, Princeton’s Blake Dietrick, Iowa’s Melissa Dixon and Stanford’s Bonnie Samuelson.
She is the fourth Missouri basketball player, and first women’s player, invited to the annual exhibition. Marcus Denmon (2012) and Matt Lawrence (2009) competed in the men’s three-point competition and Keion Bell competed in the slam-dunk competition (2013).
“I’m sure I’ll be nervous, but I’m just really excited,” Eye said. “I get butterflies every time I think about how big the crowd’s going to be and everything, but it should be a cool experience.”
Eye doesn’t expect to be as nervous as her mother, Carla, who will watch the competition from Montrose, which is located about 20 miles southwest of Clinton, Mo.
“That’s something my mom (Carla) said she wouldn’t miss from watching me play all these years was how nervous she gets from the stands,” Eye said. “I told her, ‘Well, you’ll get to get nervous one more time.’”