December 18, 2021

By Fred Liggett

Hy-Vee Arena currently plays host to a number of youth sporting events, but for the last two weeks of 2021 the venue will play host to large high school basketball tournament. Organizers are calling the new event the 12 Courts of Christmas.

Formerly known as Kemper Arena the site was once home to the NBA’s Kansas City Kings and a number of Big 8 and Big 12 conference post-season tournaments. The 12 courts tourney will provide many chances to catch the best in high school boys and girls basketball. Teams coming to play over the Christmas holiday will come from as far away as Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; Springfield, Missouri; and Columbia, Missouri. Kansas City area will be represented by teams from both sides of the state line and as far north as St. Joseph. Lee’s Summit will be represented in this inaugural event by the boys and girls teams from St. Michael’s.

The two week long tourney tips off on Dec. 17 with both boys and girls games starting at 4 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18 the fun begins at noon when the first of 12 games is played. The last game of the day tips off at 8 p.m. and finds St. Michael’s playing the Maryville Spoofhounds in a girls game.

After a day off on Sunday, Dec. 19 the tourney resumes at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20. One of the 11 games played that day finds St. Michael’s playing St. Joe Central in a boys game. The tourney continues through the 23rd before taking a break for the Christmas holiday. Then the tourney resumes on Wednesday, Dec. 29 and lasts three more days giving many area teams the opportunity to play at the historic venue. More information on the teams, game times and how to purchase tickets can be found at