May 6, 2023
By Fred Liggett
The 2023 NFL Draft held April 27-29 in Kansas City will go down as memorable one for many reasons. For the host city of Kansas City it was memorable due to seeing over 312,000 visitors attend the three day event. For the Kansas City Chiefs the team was able to conduct their draft work close to their home and in front of many of their fans. Thanks to the Chiefs selecting Kansas State Defensive End Felix Anudike-Uzomah to end the first round it was a very memorable night for the Lee’s Summit native.
Before Felix was named the 31st overall pick of the 2023 draft he was named the 2022 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Before becoming a Kansas State Wildcat Felix played at Lee’s Summit High School and now has a story to tell about how dreams come true. Being drafted by his home town team at a draft held in Kansas City had Felix “screaming up and down like all the other fans.” A short time after being drafted Felix said. “This is unbelievable. Thank you guys for believing in me.”
On Thursday evening the first round took nearly five hours to complete the 31 pick event. Just before 11 p.m. when Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt came to the podium to announce the team’s first round pick Chiefs fans were anxiously awaiting the news of this year’s top pick. After saying the name Felix Anudike-Uzomah cheers rang out among the large crowd assembled at Kansas City’s Union Station. Fireworks went off above the main stage as Felix’s name and face appeared on the large video board located at both ends of the stage.
One of many supporters of Felix throughout his journey from being a Lee’s Summit Tiger to becoming an NFL player is Blake Little. Little worked with Felix in his role as head boys basketball coach at Lee’s Summit. Little spent a majority of the night of the first round at the school where they are having open gyms in the evening. Coach Little says, “We are starting to gear up for summer.”
Little said he last saw Felix just “a week ago,” also talked to him before the NFL Combine. Little likes how Felix is “same kid as he was” and believes he will “keep being who he is.” Little believes Felix is just “guys who excel.” Little describes Felix as “a kid who enjoyed high school, a great all around kid.” Little comments that Felix “excelled in football, basketball, track and broadcasting.” Little adds, “Felix excelled in high school at whatever it was he was going to excel at it.”
For the 21 year old former Tiger and Wildcat life is about to change in a big way. First up was a visit with Chiefs fans at the NFL Draft on Saturday morning April 29. Felix who wore #91 as a Wildcat was given a #97 jersey by the Chiefs. Before getting to work there is a matter of a contract as Felix is currently listed as an unsigned draft pick. Till then expect plenty of smiles from Felix and all those who believed in him back in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.