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Colorado hoops coach after shootings near campus: 'We’ve got to figure out a way to stop this stuff'

Pete Thamel
·2-min read

Nearly an hour before the University of Colorado left its Indianapolis hotel to play an NCAA tournament game against Florida State on Monday night, the team got an alert on their phones.

It told them about the shooting in a grocery store back in Boulder, Colorado, where the school is located. As of Monday night, the Associated Press was reporting that 10 people were killed.

After No. 5 Colorado lost to No. 4 Florida State, 71-53, coach Tad Boyle addressed the tragedy back in Boulder.

“Win or lose tonight, I just felt an emptiness in my stomach,” he said. “Another senseless act of violence that we've experienced as a country, many, many times. And so it puts this game in perspective. It certainly puts losing in perspective.”

The shooting took place at King Soopers, a grocery store that’s 1.4 miles from the arena where the Buffaloes play their home game. Colorado point guard McKinley Wright IV said that the store is less than a five-minute drive from his residence and many of his peers shop there.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 20: Head coach Tad Boyle of the Colorado Buffaloes calls to his team in the first round game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 20, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 20: Head coach Tad Boyle of the Colorado Buffaloes calls to his team in the first round game against the Colorado Buffaloes in the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 20, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Wright expressed his disbelief at what happened. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “I’m going to pray for their families. Basketball is just a game. People lost their lives today. That sucks. It’s hard to put that in words right now.”

Boyle said that he chose not to address the shooting with his team prior to the game because he didn’t have any details on it. He did address the shooting with the team following the game, which ended Colorado’s season with a 20-7 record.

“We'll get through this, and get through it together,” Boyle said. “But right now, my heart goes out to the Boulder community and more than just our basketball team. So the perspective that this will bring to their lives, you know, is something that we're going to have to talk about as we process this and we move through it over the coming days.”

Boyle was stunned by the shooting, as he called Boulder as safe of a place as he’s lived in his entire life. He finished his press conference with a call for change.

“We've got to figure out a way to stop this stuff,” he said. “I don't know the answer, but we've just got to figure out a way.”

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