COLUMBIA- The G.O.A.T. and "The Mayor" are teaming up to help promote high school basketball in Missouri. Legendary former Mizzou basketball coach Norm Stewart and WNBA star Sophie Cunningham are working together to launch the first ever "Sophie Cunningham Classic" the first weekend in December. The new event comes after the "Norm Stewart Classic" has showcased high school hoops talent from around the state since 2007.
"The game was good to us and so you try to do something that will help," said Stewart at a press conference on Tuesday. Stewart co-founded the original tournament with his long-time friend, the late Gary Filbert. Filbert worked as an assistant coach for Stewart and co-founded the Show-Me State Games.
Cunningham is as excited to work with Stewart as she is to launch the new, girls-only tournament under her name.
"There's a lot of pressure on our shoulders to live up to this man," said Cunningham as she sat next to Stewart. "We are honored and we are happy to, but just to be a part of it, I'm super excited."
The "Sophie Cunningham Classic" features twelve games over three days from December 2nd to the 4th at Columbia College's Southwell Gymnasium. Cunningham's high school alma mater, Rock Bridge, will play twice. Other local teams include: Southern Boone, Kirksville, Jefferson City High, Battle High, Eugene, North Shelby, Tipton and Helias.
Full schedules for both the "Norm Stewart Classic" and the "Sophie Cunningham Classic" can be found at normstewart.org.