COLUMBIA — Recruiting during quarantine has paid off for the Missouri football team's 2021 class, and Thursday morning, the men's basketball team added the first verbal pledge of its '21 class in Kickapoo High School point guard Anton Brookshire.
Brookshire, listed at 6-foot and 155 pounds, is a 3-star recruit who also had offers from Missouri State and Milwaukee, but other high-major programs were also showing interest, including Creighton, Iowa State, UNLV, Kansas State, Michigan and Oklahoma State. He announced his decision on Instagram, saying he's "110% committed."
The Tigers extended Brookshire an offer earlier this week. Another wrinkle added to the news, first reported by the Springfield News-Leader, is Missouri will visit JHQ Arena next season for its first game against the Bears in Springfield since 1941.
Neither program has officially announced the game, which will pit Cuonzo Martin against the program where he first started as a head coach.
The two men's basketball teams haven't played since 1998, but the two schools have faced each other recently in several sports. The women's basketball teams have alternated home games every year since 2012, the baseball teams play twice per season, the Tigers hosted Missouri State and former defensive coordinator Dave Steckel — then the head coach of the Bears — on the gridiron in 2017, and the softball teams played annually through the 2015 season.
Brookshire's lack of a greater presence on the recruiting trail likely stems from his build, but he has the ability to take over games against good competition. He shined during the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in January, one of the nation's top high school tournaments held every January at JQH Arena in Springfield, scoring 33 points against perennial national power Oak Hill (Va.) Academy.
Kickapoo's season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. After beating Rock Bridge 67-52 in the quarterfinals, including 25 points from Brookshire, the Chiefs were supposed to face C.B.C. and Kentucky signee Caleb Love in the Class 5 semifinals.
However, the Class 5 Final Four was canceled just 48 hours after the Chiefs' quarterfinal win.
Brookshire was named to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 5 all-state team during his sophomore and junior seasons at Kickapoo.