Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle opened his post-game NCAA tournament press conference Monday night by addressing the mass shootings that took place just a few miles from the Boulder school campus.
“Before we talk about this basketball game, before the game in the locker room, I was thinking about how events took place in Boulder, Colorado today – and I have no more details than I know it was a tragic, tragic situation “said Boyle after losing the Buffaloes 71-53 NCAA tournament in the second round to Florida State. “It puts basketball in its right place.
“And win or lose tonight, I just felt an emptiness in my stomach. Another senseless act of violence that we as a country have experienced many, many times. And so this game is put into perspective. It certainly brings losing to them correct perspective. “
“But even if we had won this game and celebrated the Sweet 16, it would have put a damper on it. So my heart goes out to the families affected and those who have lost their lives.”
The authorities said that 10 people died in the shooting in the King Soopers supermarket on Monday, including the police officer who was the first to react to the scene.
Police arrested a suspect but did not reveal his name or details of the shootings at an evening press conference.
Colorado hasn’t been to Boulder or Indianapolis since last week to compete in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Boyle said some members of the Buffaloes received notifications of the shooting on their phones about an hour before they arrived at the arena, but he said he had not spoken to his team about the tragedy prior to the notice.
“I’ve talked to a couple of my assistants about it and we felt like it would probably be better if we were left – we didn’t have any details,” he said. “There was nothing to really talk about and I talked about perspective again after the game.
“But the mentality of your team when preparing for a game is sometimes fragile. I didn’t want to over-complicate your thoughts because we had to play the game. We didn’t want to play the game. So I decided to wait until after the game to discuss it with them and I did. “
Boyle said he didn’t think the shooting bothered his team’s mind during the game but added, “I could be completely wrong and count on it. The only thing I won’t do is sit here and make excuses for it to find how we played. I’ll take responsibility for it. “
Guard McKinley Wright admitted what had happened was on his mind.
“I’ve been thinking about my life and growing up and what I’ve been through and seen these people,” he said after scoring 10 points in the loss. “And what they’re going through now sucks. I’m so sorry and I’m going to pray for their families.
“Basketball is just a game; people lost their lives. That sucks. It’s hard to put into words when I play my last game here at CU and this tragedy in Boulder. It’s just terrible.” “”
Boyle called Boulder “a safe place as I have ever felt and lived in my life”.
“So if it can happen, it can happen there, it can happen anywhere,” he said. “But we have to find a way to stop this stuff. I don’t know the answer, but we just have to find a way.”