“We did it!” Those were the first words I heard from Steve Pona, one of the 24 basketball players, who finished the world’s longest basketball game on Sunday night at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis. The game started at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning and wrapped up 112 hours and 13 seconds later.
AUDIO Steve Pona recaps the marathon basketball game (8:30)
The group, which included Joplin native and former Missouri Tiger Jeff Hafer, played the game to help raise money for the Joplin Chamber of Commerce. Final figures on just how much money was raised will come out later this week, but the figure will be well over $100,000.
Here’s a look inside some of the numbers and stats. 112 hours breaks down to a total of 168, 40-minute college basketball games. Current Missouri Tiger senior Kim English played 141 games in his four year career. The final score was 11,806 to 11,602. Divided out evenly over those 168 games meant the average score of each “college game” would be 70-69. In other words, these guys weren’t just chucking up shots or loafing down the court.
Hafer was the leading scorer over the four day event and while may not have lit up the scoreboard every night in his college days, he put up historic numbers during this world record game. While we wait for his official totals, he scored over 3,000 points during the game. If he played in half of the game, he played the equivalent of 84 college basketball games…one more than “Piston” Pete Maravich played at LSU when he scored 3,667 points in his college career. While Hafer may have come up short of that record he did score more than Larry Bird (2,850 college points) and Poplar Bluff and North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough (2,872 points) in their college careers.