Parkview basketball coach Bill Brown hopes to build Springfield’s next major winter tournament.
The inaugural Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Classic tips off today and features four Springfield schools against four out-of-area opponents. The tournament continues through Saturday, with four games each day at Parkview High School.
In a town that already hosts the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, the Pink and White Lady Classic and the Greenwood Blue and Gold, Brown hopes to carve out space for one more basketball showcase designed to draw in the casual fan.
“Not all (area teams) get the opportunity to participate in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. All those kids — that’s their goal, they want to be in it and it just doesn’t work out sometimes,” Brown said. “So we’re trying to provide a mini version of that here in town, try to keep our local schools involved as much as they possibly can.”
A student of the game and son of hall of fame coach Bob Brown, the younger Brown set out to honor Springfield’s rich basketball history. He came up with the idea to involve the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and to invite teams associated with legendary coaches, and the coaches themselves, to the tournament.
“I’m a big historian, I love the coaches of the past,” Brown said. “As a coach’s son I grew up traveling around and seeing a lot of these coaches that we’ve invited.”
Bob Brown coached Parkview from 1965 to 1986. His Vikings posted a total record of 367-179. Brown retired with an overall record of 672-286. He, along with coaches David Porter and Rich Grawer, are credited with establishing the coaches’ hall of fame.
The field originally included Raytown South, but the Cardinals withdrew from the tournament and have been replaced by Oak Park. Former Raytown South coach Bud Lathrop, the all-time winningest coach in Missouri high school basketball, will still be honored at the tournament.
Other honorees include:
•Fred Turner, who recorded 592 coaching victories and 318 defeats with Oak Park, Lee’s Summit, Warrensburg, and O’Hara, will be honored as Oak Park’s delegate this weekend.
•The late Jack Roberts of Glendale, who posted a 499-248 record at Glendale and Camdenton.
•Gary Stanfield, who coached Weaubleau, Willow Springs, Hillcrest and Republic to a combined 330 high school wins. His Hillcrest Hornets won the 1984 state championship, and his 2010 Republic team made it to the final four. Stanfield also coached for many years at Drury University.
•Jim Ball of Central. A Camdenton native, Ball played for SMS from 1941 to 1943. He coached for nearly three decades at Central High School. His teams made seven state tournament appearances. Ball retired with a career record of 603-326.
•Don Buffington’s coaching career spanned 32 years. He taught at School of the Osage, Blair Oaks and Hannibal LaGrange College. Buffington’s son, Josh, now coaches Helias Catholic, which will also play in honor of hall-of-famers Jerry Buescher and Bill Blanton.
Bill Brown and the host Parkview Vikings will recognize Grawer, who coached DeSmet to three state championships and racked up a 63-game winning streak in the process. Grawer later coached at Saint Louis University.
Porter amassed a 595-340 record at Lafayette, Poplar Bluff and Smith-Cotton. The Lafayette Lancers, of Wildwood, will play in his honor.
MBCA Hall of Fame Classic
At Parkview High School
4 p.m. — Central vs. Oak Park
5:30 p.m. — Glendale vs. Lafayette
7 p.m. — Parkview vs. DeSmet
8:30 p.m. — Hillcrest vs. Helias
4 p.m. — Consolation semifinal, Central/Oak Park vs. Parkview/DeSmet; 5:30 p.m. — Consolation semifinal, Glendale/Lafayette vs. Hillcrest/Helias; 7 p.m. — Championship semifinal, Central/Oak Park vs. Parkview/DeSmet; 8:30 p.m. Championship semifinal Glendale/Lafayette vs. Hillcrest/Helias
1:30 p.m. — Seventh-place game; 3 p.m. — Fifth-place game; 4:30 p.m. — Third-place game; 6 p.m. — Championship game