I recently had an opportunity to step inside the Kansas City Kansas Community College Field House.
Renovated a few years ago, there’s better seating and the floor inside the field house is a lot better. The field house has transformed into a beautiful place to play basketball, especially at the junior college level.
It’s time for local schools to utilize the college and play games there.
At a groundbreaking for a new library in KCK, I ran into The Pitch Magazine’s David Martin. Martin, as you may remember, wrote an outstanding piece on KCK basketball and how it rose from the dead in 2011.
Included in Martin’s piece was a short nugget about how some games between Wyandotte and Schlagle used to be held at KCKCC due to traffic and overwhelming demand.
With the league going through another renaissance, it’s time to bring an in-season tournament to KCK.
I’ve written about this at least twice before, but it’s a pet project of mine to bring a tournament to KCK. There’s really no excuse for KCKCC to not be allowed to host a tournament.
It has plenty of parking available. It’s in a nice area. It’s easy to get there – it’s relatively close to Interstate 70, the transportation vein of the Kansas City metro area.
Still, what kind of basketball tournament could you hold?
1. Steal one of the tournaments held in Eudora or Paola each year. Those tournaments are loaded with KCK teams. The 2009 Paola Invitational I had a ton of fun covering included four KCK teams in it – Harmon, Bishop Ward, Piper and Turner. Make the teams from the suburbs drive up here for once.
2. A Kansas City Kansas – League vs. Kaw Valley League Showdown. This would be in similar form to the ACC/Big 10 challenge you see in college basketball. It would be a “Best of 5” showdown between the KCK teams and the five best teams in the Kaw Valley League from the previous season. Before you assume KCK would roll the KVL, the KVL is improving. Lansing, who won the league last year, was one of the most well coached teams and better teams I saw last year. They had some tough calls go against them against Washington in the state tournament, but they were an impressive team. You can pair Lansing up with Sumner Academy, Washington up with Basehor, Schlagle up against Bonner Springs, Harmon up with Mill Valley and Wyandotte up with Bishop Ward, just to get two of the better fan-bases in KCK in the challenge. While the KCKL would probably be the favorites more often than not, those games would be compelling. The KVL has some awesome coaches in the league who find ways to win games.
3. A KCK vs. KCMO Shootout. In similar form to the Hy-Vee Shootout, you get the five best programs in KCK against five of the best programs in KCMO. Imagine Washington, Sumner Academy and Schlagle going against programs like Hogan Prep, O’Hara or Raytown South. Those would be some great games.
4. A KCK tournament of the eight KCK teams. The tournament would be played out over two or three days and would be seeded based on the previous year’s records. Granted, playing a league opponent a third time might scare off some coaches to this idea, but it would be a great local event that would spread the story of KCK basketball.