February 26, 2022

By Fred Liggett

On Friday, Feb. 18 the Lee’s Summit North Fieldhouse looked normal for a game night with the Crimson Crazies sitting in one corner ready to cheer for the Broncos. In this case it was the boys basketball team who were set to host their rival the Lee’s Summit West Titans.

Before the tipoff of the varsity basketball game between the Broncos and the Titans was a not so normal presentation as LS North honored their longtime head coach in Mike Hilbert. Hilbert is retiring following a 30 year career with 27 of those years coming at LS North.

On one end of the floor the current edition of the Broncos joined alongside former Broncos who played at some point for Coach Hilbert. Soon after that Coach Hilbert was joined by his family near mid court for a presentation. Joining coach was his wife Wendy, daughters Hailey and Kaitlyn along with a former team manager in Tony Mitchell.

One former player in attendance was Jarrod Gravatt who was a two-year starter at LS North. Gravatt feels the best memory under coach Hilbert was the memorable run the Broncos had in 2002. The Broncos beat Raytown South to win the first district title in program history. Gravatt says Coach Hilbert “knew how to get the best out of his players,” adding “he was a great mentor and truly cares about everyone he coaches.”

The evening presentation allowed Broncos fans to see a framed case that will be on display in the commons area for all to see in the coming years. On display will be a retired red vest along with a rolled paper from his last game, a photo and a plaque containing all of his LS North accomplishments.

The Broncos had many accomplishments during Hilbert’s time guiding the program. Some of them include seven conference championships, six district titles and two final four appearances both times finishing in third place. There is still time to add to the list of accomplishments as the Broncos begin post-season play in a district tournament being played at Belton High School.