Earlier this season, Norm Stewart was unable to attend a ceremony where the banners displaying the retired Mizzou men’s basketball numbers were lowered. The banners were taken down and won’t be re-hung until MU’s new 15,000-seat basketball arena opens next season. While John Sunvold, Steve Stipanovich, Willie Smith, Doug Smith and Bill Stauffer helped mold MU’s basketball history, no one was more responsible for turning the program around than Stewart. Perhaps it was appropriate that he had his number lowered by himself. The floor at the Hearnes Center is named after Stewart, but nothing at the new arena will bear his name. In fact, a part of the agreement which led to Bill Laurie donating $25-million to help with construction costs, is that neither the arena or court will be named after any former player or coach. As a player, Stewart averaged 24.1 points per game his senior season and is still 28th on the schools all-time scoring list (at that time freshmen weren’t allowed to play). His career in coaching is one of the best ever—he had a combined 731 wins at Northern Iowa and Missouri, which is 7th in NCAA Division I history.
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