Cody Norman is back with his alma mater, coaching the Laguna Creek girls basketball team in Elk Grove.
On Monday he will return to Manteca High, where he headed the girls hoops squad the past two seasons. There is more to this reunion and nonleague contest, however.
The two programs have agreed to participate in the Character Combine Classic, a fundraising event that encourages the community to donate new and lightly-used shoes to the students of Rosa Parks Middle School in Sacramento. Participating fans will receive a discount off admission. Anyone who would like to donate shoes but cannot attend the game can make arrangements with Manteca coach MaryAnn Tolbert She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re hoping to make this an annual event,” Tolbert said. “Both coaches won’t be wearing shoes during the game to drive home the fact that not every athlete gets the proper equipment to compete. Let’s just hope I don’t end up falling down.”
Tolbert was part of Norman’s staff as an assistant and lower-level coach. Together, they led the Buffaloes to a third straight Valley Oak League championship in 2013. Norman stepped down after his second season as Manteca coach to focus on other aspects of his busy schedule, which included the birth of his first child and night classes at the Teacher College of San Joaquin.