March 18, 2023
By Fred Liggett
The Kansas City Kings are headed to a national tournament to be played in Wichita, Kansas to complete what they hope will be a championship season. The tournament, March 24-26, is set for Wichita Hoops in Bel Aire, Kansas the events sole venue. The Kings, with the help of five players from Lee’s Summit, look to repeat as national champions.
The tourney is part of the 2023 National Wheelchair Basketball Association championship series. This series is the largest series of adapted sporting events in the United States. Event organizers are expecting over 1,800 athletes and 5,600 spectators. The 16 team bracket in Wichita will find games being played all day and night on both March 24th and 25th. Final games are set for the afternoon on Sunday, Mar. 26.
Representing Lee’s Summit at this national tournament is Ben Edwards a senior at Lee’s Summit North, Isaac Murdock, Jesus Cardoza, Jeremiah Mangles and Kayleigh Bolton are the five Lee’s Summit youth heading to Wichita to compete. Murdock is a seventh grader at Pleasant Lea Middle school, Cardoza a freshman at LS North, Mangles an eighth grader at Bernard Campbell Middle School and Bolton a sixth grader at East Trails Middle School.
The Kings will be competing in the prep bracket where 38 teams from around the country will be playing. The Kings are used to traveling on weekends having played games in Omaha, Atlanta and Wisconsin already this year. Closer to home the Kings played in January at a tournament held at Campbell Middle School. Anna Cardoza, mother of Jesus Cardoza, says, “Kids, they are happy, I’m happy to see my son so happy.”
The goal is to win and return home happy with some new hardware. To keep up to date on the Kings progress at the national tournament fans, friends and family members can go to www.nwba.org/nationals.