Apr 11, 2023
International Basketball Is Coming To Downtown Kansas City This Summer
KANSAS CITY (April 11, 2023) – Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium will host four international men’s and women’s basketball events – one each month – from June to September 2023. World Vision Sports & Entertainment, an Overland Park-based company, will organize the events and plans to hold similar events in Kansas City every year through 2027.
An official announcement was made at an April 11th press conference at Municipal Auditorium by WVS&E founder and CEO Daimon Beathea, the Kansas City Sports Commission and officials from the City of Kansas City.
In the first three events, men’s and women’s teams from the United States will compete against the national teams from countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the world.
“All the national teams are under the national federations registered with FIBA, the governing body of international basketball,” said Beathea, who played basketball for coaches Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo at Michigan State. “These teams regularly compete in FIBA's regional events, and major events such as the Olympic Games and FIBA’s Basketball World Cup. National teams – senior men’s and women’s teams – from several nations have already confirmed their participation.”
The fourth event, in September, will involve World Vision’s men’s and women’s teams from the United States competing against professional clubs from Europe, Australia and elsewhere around the globe that are preparing for their upcoming seasons in their respective leagues.
“These national teams and their Olympic-level players – like Luka Doncic in Slovenia or Giannis Antetokounmpo in Greece – have fan bases in their countries even more passionate than college and professional fan bases in the U.S.,” Beathea said. “That is why we will stream all the games globally, so that basketball fans of the invited teams can watch their heroes play and enjoy the games.”
Each month’s format will include four men’s and four women’s teams. Like the Olympics, the four teams will play a single round-robin format, ending with a championship game and a third-place game. Eight teams, 16 games, all played within a week and all at Municipal Auditorium. The dates of competition are, June 12-19, July 16-23, August 12-19 and September 19-26. A total of 64 games will be played over the four months.
Beathea said that World Vision Sports & Entertainment will partner with local immigration communities and organizations to integrate with the monthly events to promote native customs and flavors (e.g., art, music, food) from the participating countries.
"We will also work closely with some local immigrant communities and international business exchange entities to bring some international flavor to our events through Fan Fests,” Beathea said. “Players can also meet and greet their fellow countrymen and women, taste some authentic home flavors – even when they are far away from home – and enjoy themselves.
"In addition,” Beathea continued, “we will also work with some local educational organizations and charities and bring the teams to visit schools and underprivileged kids to inspire and encourage.”
World Vision Sports & Entertainment will announce participating teams, event logos, ticket prices and other event-related information in the weeks prior to the first event in June.