Mar 17, 2022 - Sports

Two sons, one March Madness for this Hilliard family

A family poses with a basketball playing son carrying a Horizon League championship trophy.
The Norris family celebrating Wright State's Horizon League championship, with Keaton Norris holding the trophy. Braden Norris, far right, also plays collegiate basketball for Loyola Chicago. Photos courtesy Brett Norris

Winning a March Madness game fulfilled a lifelong dream for area native Keaton Norris, but last night's Wright State victory in Dayton also had consequences for his family's travel plans.

  • It's a good problem to have — while mom travels west to see Keaton play the next round, dad heads east to watch his older brother Braden play for Loyola Chicago tomorrow in Pittsburgh.

The intrigue: Having two Division I athletes in the same family is impressive enough, but this Hilliard clan has two sons competing in the 2022 NCAA tournament.

  • An even more improbable scenario awaits if both teams win their next three games: Keaton and Braden would face each other in the Elite Eight.

What they're saying: "The whole experience is really difficult to put into words," father Brett Norris tells Axios. "Basketball has just been such an integral part of our lives."

State of play: Braden graduated as Hilliard Bradley High School's all-time leading scorer and first played collegiately at Oakland University in Michigan before transferring to Loyola Chicago.

  • The Ramblers and fan favorite Sister Jean were on Braden's radar after pulling off an unexpected Final Four run in 2018.
  • Braden fits in well with his new school as the starting point guard, leading the team in assists and averaging 10 points per game.

Meanwhile, Keaton rebounded from his pandemic-shortened high school junior season to be recruited by nearby Wright State.

  • The freshman has started close to a dozen games and helped his Raiders win the Horizon League tournament to earn an automatic March Madness berth.
  • He played 30 minutes in the Raiders' win over Bryant last night, chipping in three points, three assists and three rebounds.

Flashback: The sport brought the brothers' parents, Brett and Carrie, together when the two played collegiate basketball at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

  • Brett is now in his eighth season coaching at Hilliard Bradley, where both his sons played for him.

Of note: The Norrises are typically Buckeyes fans, but not when Braden takes the court against them tomorrow afternoon.

  • "I've got a lot of friends who are on watch right now," Brett jokes. "I'm really anxious to see where their loyalties lie."
A family poses with a basketball playing son carrying a Missouri Valley conference championship trophy.
The Norris family celebrating Loyola Chicago's Missouri Valley conference championship, with Braden in center holding the trophy.
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