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Anderson inspires coaches at Smith-Cotton

Kim Anderson was set to begin a long-desired tenure as the University of Missouri’s head men’s basketball coach on Tuesday.

Anderson grew up not far away, in Sedalia. He played basketball for four years as number 32 on the Smith-Cotton High School basketball squad.

While there, Anderson was an all-American and ABC 17 News learned Monday his legacy continues decades later.

“He inspired me to be where I’m at now, the girl’s basketball coach at Smith-Cotton High School,” said Zach Vandevender.

Vandevender played for Anderson at the University of Central Missouri from 2002-2005.

“I’m really excited for Coach,” he said. “It’ll create exciting buzz around Sedalia and here at the high school.”

Anderson was the first inductee into Smith-Cotton’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. His sister, Kathy, was the second.

The hire Monday has not been without it’s critics. One person who knows that all too well is former Smith-Cotton basketball coach and Anderson’s childhood friend Martin White.

“He’ll show them critics, he’s done that his whole life,” said White. “He’ll go out and prove them wrong.”

White retired Anderson’s jersey in the 1990’s, before the high school had an athletics Hall of Fame.

“When they see him as a player, that’s how he coaches, he treats people with respect,” he said when asked what he remembered about Anderson’s style.

Gathered inside the gymnasium on Monday, White and Vendevender recalled how well liked Anderson’s family has been in town. Vandevender said Anderson’s father still recognized him from UCM when he ran into at local restaurants.

“This is a pretty big day for us, too,” said Smith-Cotton Athletic Director Rob Davis.

Kim Anderson was scheduled to be introduced as the new Mizzou head coach on Tuesday at 10 a.m. on campus.

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