By FRED MANN
The Wichita Eagle
(MCT) — A crowd of about 400 people turned out for a pep rally in Scott City on Thursday in honor of native son Ron Baker and his Wichita State Shocker basketball teammates.
Scott City Mayor Dan Goodman proclaimed Thursday "Ron Baker Day." People gathered in front of Scott Community High School, where Baker led the basketball team to a Class 3A state title as a senior in 2011.
Baker, a red-shirt freshman guard for the Shockers, was in Los Angeles as WSU prepared to play La Salle in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night, a game they eventually won 72-58 to advance to today's Elite Eight regional title game against Ohio State.
Many students and residents at the rally wore gold T-shirts with a drawing of Baker on the front.
The high school band and cheerleaders performed Scott City High and WSU cheers and songs.
Baker's high school basketball and football coach, Glenn O'Neil, spoke about Baker's qualities as a humble kid from western Kansas.
The rally also featured a launch of black and gold balloons.
Scott City, a town of about 4,000 people north of Garden City and south of Oakley, planned the celebration after WSU upset Gonzaga last weekend to reach the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. Baker scored 16 points, including some late 3-point shots, in the come-from-behind victory. In Thursday's win over La Salle, Baker scored 13 points.