Two Springfield teams are scheduled to compete in an unprecedented basketball marathon.
The Class 5 reigning state champions from Kickapoo and the Parkview girls basketball team will take part in the Norm Stewart Classic in Columbia Dec. 2-4. This year, the showcase has expanded to feature 48 consecutive hours of games.
Parkview will pull a redeye shift and tip its game with Neosho at 2 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Coach Keri Nichols asked for the odd start time.
“Believe it or not, we requested to play at 2 a.m. I thought if we were going to do it, I wanted to make it an experience for my kids that they would never forget, and as a coach, I would never forget,” Nichols said.
The Vikings have some interesting pregame plans for their trip to Columbia.
“Missouri State plays Mizzou on that Friday night, so we’re going to go watch Aubrey Buckley play, one of our grads. We’re going to make it really 24 hours that we won’t forget,” Nichols said.
Nichols also budgeted time after the game at Mizzou Arena for a nap before Parkview heads to Columbia College to play. It’s all about making memories.
“I tell our kids, ‘When do you get to play basketball at 2 a.m.?’ I said, ‘When you’re 40, you’re going to be talking, hey, remember that time we played basketball at 2 a.m. in the morning?’” Nichols said.
Kickapoo tips off with Washington at 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2. Kickapoo coach Jim Pendergrass expects a challenge.
“That’s a great thing to be a part of. It’s never been done, we’re really looking forward to it. Washington is an outstanding opponent, they’re going to be one of the best teams in the state,” Pendergrass said.
Kickapoo practices each morning at 6 a.m., but Pendergrass doesn’t believe playing toward midnight will have any adverse effects on the players.
“I think they stay up late anyway,” Pendergrass said. “You’ve got to be adjustable with everything you do,” Pendergrass said.
The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association organized the first of its kind event in the United States, Proceeds from the event are donated to Coaches vs. Cancer. Tickets my be purchased at the door of the Southwell Complex at Columbia College.
If you don’t want to make the drive to Columbia, the games are televised on ESPN3 and locally on Mediacom Connections Channel 22.
Norm Stewart Classic 48-hours of basketball schedule
Friday, Dec. 2
6 a.m. Rock Bridge vs. Waynesville (Girls)
8 a.m. Battle vs. Poplar Bluff (Boys)
10 p.m. Kickapoo vs. Washington (Girls)
Saturday, Dec. 3
12 a.m. Oak Grove vs. California (Boys)
2 a.m. Neosho vs. Parkview (Girls)
4 a.m. Incarnate Word vs. Helias Catholic (Girls)
6 a.m. Harrisburg vs. Coummity R-6 (Girls)
8 a.m. Harrisburg vs. Chilhowee (Boys)
10 a.m. Salisbury vs. Brookfield (Girls)
12 p.m. Salisbury vs. Brookfield (Boys)
2 p.m. Bondurant-Farrar (IA) vs. Moberly (Boys)
4 p.m. Raytown South vs. Jefferson City (Girls)
6 p.m. Tolton Catholic vs. Poplar Bluff (Boys)
8 p.m. Hickman vs. Liberty North (Boys)
10 p.m. Battle vs. St. Joseph’s Academy (Girls)
Sunday, Dec. 4
12 a.m. Hallsville vs. South Callaway (Boys)
2 a.m. Raytown South vs. Waynesville (Boys)
4 a.m. Laquey vs. Coummity R-6 (Boys)
6 a.m. Jamestown vs. Ellington (Boys)
8 a.m. Mexico vs. Tolton Catholic (Girls)
10 a.m. Mexico vs. Bondurant-Farra (Iowa) (Boys)
12 p.m. Helias Catholic vs. Smithville (Boys)
2 p.m. Hickman vs. Blue Springs (Girls)
4 p.m. Rock Bridge vs. CBC (Boys)