ST. LOUIS — Missouri Baptist University opened its new sports and recreation complex Oct. 30 by hosting the first annual Albert Pujols All-Star Basketball Game.
MBU's varsity basketball squad competed against Pujols' All-Star Team, which consists of teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome and celebrity athletes.
"I cannot think of a more appropriate event to host as part of the celebration surrounding the university's new Carl and Deloris Petty Sports and Recreation Complex," MBU President R. Alton Lacey said. "The opportunity for MBU to continue to help Albert and Diedre with their work is a privilege."
Pujols and Matt Holiday left the Cardinals' World Series victory parade and celebration at Busch Stadium just in time to appear at the MBU event. They were joined by several celebrity athletes, including former St. Louis Ram Aeneas Williams, former National Basketball Association star Jahidi White, former St. Louis Cardinal Kerry Robinson, newly named Cardinal manager Mike Matheny, runner Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon and boxer Ryan Coyne.
The game launched a week of events surrounding the opening of MBU's new complex. The complex was dedicated on Nov. 3. The $11-million facility features a state-of-the-art fitness center, a suspended track and exercise room, a 1,000-seat gymnasium, locker rooms and a concession area in Spartan Hall. The facility also houses the health and sport sciences division.
Since 2005, the Pujols Family Foundation has helped individuals living with Down syndrome here and has helped improve the lives of the impoverished in the Dominican Republic.