By Troy Treasure
Legendary University of Missouri basketball coach and Shelbyville native Norm Stewart made a suggestion.
As a result, the North Shelby boys’ team will travel to Columbia Friday, Dec. 11. The Raiders have been selected to participate in the Norm Stewart Classic at Mizzou Arena.
NS is scheduled to play Columbia Independent School at noon.
Raiders coach Landon Daniel indicated Brad Hayes, assistant director of the Classic, initially contacted him just after the conclusion of last season.
“He said, ‘Norm Stewart has requested it. He wants to watch you,’” Daniel said. “I said if Norm Stewart says he wants to watch us play, then I’m going to do everything I can to make sure we can go play this game.”
The Classic is 48-hours, around the clock, of games. It’s a safe bet the 85-year-old Stewart wasn’t interested in watching the Raiders play at 2 a.m., thus a midday tip-off.
Daniel and athletic director Scott Gaines worked together on the commitment.
“I talked to Scott. We were already a game short. It just kind of fell into our lap,” Daniel said.
Daniel did not specifically say it, but playing in the game was a no-brainer.
“Again, if Norm Stewart says he wants to watch us play, you pretty much have to go,” Daniel said. “You’re from his hometown.”