COLUMBIA — When you ask forward Justin Safford about his biggest problem in high school, his response seems better suited for a cheerleader than a basketball player.
For Safford, now a forward for the Missouri men’s basketball team, shoes were a big dilemma. Not because Safford couldn’t find that perfect pair to match his letterman jacket, but because he couldn’t find a pair that lasted. From his freshman to senior year at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, Ill., Safford’s feet grew from a size 12 to a size 17.
“Shoes were probably the toughest thing because they are so expensive, but with growth the sizes just kept going up,” Safford said.
In addition to his growing feet, Safford went from being a 6-foot guard with a smooth left-handed jump shot, to a 6-8 lanky forward. He began going through clothes like a teenage girl picking an outfit, and stuck out like a skyscraper among his peers in the hallway.
"It was just the nonstop growing. People kept saying, 'How tall are you?’” Safford said. “I’m saying the same height, but I’d go to the doctor and I’m a different height.”
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