The state of Kansas has no shortage of great moments of basketball greatness, especially in the NCAA Tournament.
Neither does Scott City. And now they can add their former champion Ron Baker to the list of greatness on the court.
The redshirt freshman for Wichita State has emerged under the spotlight of their win over Gonzaga, sending them to the Sweet 16. He may not love the spotlight, but the spotlight loves him.
"I don't mind the spotlight but you just have to know you have to produce," Baker said. "You have to play the best you can because you have a lot of eyes on you and everyone is looking up to you."
Thursday is Ron Baker Day in Scott City, celebrating the former state champ and helping the Shockers on their run in the Sweet 16. He knows about the planned celebration but he is actually trying to block it out.
"Mainly, I'm trying to focus on (Thursday) and pushing our team to another accomplishment which is the Elite Eight and go from there."
Baker is averaging 11 points in the NCAA Tournament but his breakout game was the win over Gonzaga, scoring 16 points, including four of six shooting from behind the 3-point arc. His 'second' season began against Missouri State at the Missouri Valley Tournament when he came back from a stress fracture in his foot, missing 21 games because of it.
He started the season out great, only to be sidelined by the injury. Just being on the court has been a revitalization for him.
"I'm really excited for Thursday and hopefully I can make the best of it," Baker said.
Thursday vs. La Salle is the tipping point for the Shocks. Win and move onto a stage Wichita State hasn't seen since 1981 or let La Salle keep going as the "new and exciting thing" in the Tournament. Both schools are the darlings of the tournament but there is only one prince.
"It's the Sweet 16," Baker said. It doesn't matter what color jersey you have on or your seed, you just have to come out and play the best you can and the better team is gonna win Thursday and hopefully it's us."