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  • October 1, 2014

Game On: Chris Sloan, From the Hardwood to the Track - Ladue News: Sports

Game On: Chris Sloan, From the Hardwood to the Track

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 12:00 pm

Chris Sloan grew up in St. Charles County and already has a lot of life in 31 years. He began it by developing into the best basketball player in Francis Howell North history, scoring almost 1,900 hundred points and leading the school to its only Final Four appearence. At Saint Louis University, he started more than 100 games for three years. He scored 700 points, grabbed 400 rebounds and dished out 150 assists. The 6-foot, 7-inch Sloan was a coach's dream for Lorenzo Romar and Brad Soderberg.

Sloan had the rare skill to please his coaches with great hustle and a pretty well-rounded skill set. He also had the ability to razz a coach or a player. We were shooting a television feature for KSDK on time, and decided to put a wireless mic on Coach Soderberg. Sloan knew the mic was on; and every time he ran by Soderberg, he would lean over him and yell into the mic, Great job, Sloan! Great hustle, Sloan! Or he would tell coach to say some nice things about him with the mic on. Soderberg would only shake his head and smile.

After working as an assistant and later in the athletic department at SLU, Sloan moved to the Big Apple and became director of marketing and player relations for the New York Knicks. He spent three years with the Knicks and his good friend, fellow St. Louisan and NBA star David Lee. Then Sloan moved on to NASCAR, where he is now the director of business development. Park Avenue is a long way from St. Charles County, but that's where he goes to work every day.

Best moment on a basketball court in college:

We beat Louisville. Rick Pitino and the Cardinals were ranked No. 2 in the country: They had won 18 games in a row. It was at the Scottrade Center. We won by a point—it was great.

Best moment on a high school court:

We beat Springfield Kickapoo to get to the Final Four, and I had 35 points.

Best player who has been on the floor with you:

Dwayne Wade—he was impossible to keep in front of you. He was just playing the game on a higher athletic ground than everybody else.

Most embarassing moment:

The high-school slam-dunk competition—I got rim-stuffed. The ball went off the front rim and I fell competely backwards in front of 7,000 people. I separated my shoulder.

What you learned most from the sport:

How to communicate in a team environment. The cumulative effort and the individual effort, and how it carries over to life and the business world. It's different personalities and different races with a common goal in mind.

Famous people who you have gotten to know:

Jon Hamm, David Lee, Scott Highmark.

5 THOUGHTS:

1. Thirty of the 31 most-watched TV programs in recent months were NFL games. More people watched mediocre teams like the Giants play the Cowboys than Game 6 between the Cardinals and Red Sox. It's an NFL world, we are just living in it.

2. The Blues do everything right: They lock up their stars, make players available at all times, and have many of their former famous players still involved in the organization. If they can make a long playoff run, they will own this town.

3. I wish politicians and politically correct groups would stay out out of trying to force sports teams to change their names.

4. I love this Billiken basketball team. I love the experience. I love the poise. I think they just don't play the game, but rather understand the game. What scares me is the future. They are starting five seniors. Their freshman look promising—they better be.

5. SIU Coach, Barry Hinson, made one mistake in his rant: He mentioned a player by name. However, I think, in general, it's good thing when coaches hold players accountable more. Players are pampered at too young of an age. The inmates too many times are running the asylum.

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