Sports

KCUR 89.3 covers community-related topics about sports in the Kansas City region. Do you have a story idea? E-mail News Director Maria Carter, maria@kcur.org.

Lawrence, KS – The athletics director position at the University of Kansas went through sweeping changes. Lew Perkins is no longer in charge, an interim A.D. is in place and a plan for a successor is underway

Sean Lester was named interim athletics director. He joined the KU athletic staff at the same time as Lew Perkins seven years ago. Like Perkins, Lester also previously worked at the University of Connecticut.

Lester said he was caught off-guard by the sudden departure of Perkins.

Kansas City, MO – A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place yesterday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the opening of the Chiefs Sports Lab. It's part of the Arrowhead renovation project, and targeted toward children in grades three through six with a message for better health.

The sports lab, a mixture of displays and interactive exhibits, is open to anyone on game day, but meant for youths in an organized group during the week.

Kansas City, MO – Former Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The 78-year-old, who played eight seasons as a first baseman and outfielder before moving to the front office, is just the 19th major league manager to be inducted.

Black Baseball Stars Honored By Stamps

Jul 15, 2010
photo by dan verbeck

Kansas City, MO – The U.S. Postal Service has taken wraps off two commemorative stamps honoring baseball leagues that led the way toward racial integration. The stamp issue came at the Kansas City Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Thurgood Marshall Jr. of the Postal board of Governors noted how Jackie Robinson's 1947 breaking of the color line led to integration of sports and society and politics.

Anaheim, CA – Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Joakim Soria may be the long team representative at the All-Star game in Anaheim. But he's being more recognized by his fellow countrymen in Mexico. KCUR's Greg Echlin has more.

Photographs, basketballs, and flowers were in front of the alter at Antioch Church. Photo by Laura Ziegler

Kansas City, Missouri – Some 200 people came to Antioch Church last night - many who'd never met Manute Bol- to celebrate his life.

Since coming to live in Olathe a few years ago, Bol had kept a low profile. Since his NBA career, he'd spent most of his time, and resources, traveling back and forth from his native Sudan.

Last night, his wife and many of his family were still in Sudan, where Bol was buried next to his grandfather one week ago.

Council Expects 100:1 Return On All-Star Game

Jun 25, 2010
Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Royals

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's city council honored the old adage "it takes money to make money" yesterday, voting to pick up the tab for the considerable expenses related to hosting the 2012 All-Star Game.


City Manager Troy Schulte gave the council what might have been a staggering cost estimate if not for his projected return-on-investment. Schulte told the council his staff estimates the city's expenses at $500,000, but expect an economic impact of over $50 million in return.

In this Jan. 26, 1993 photo, New York Knicks' Patrick Ewing, right, is blocked by Philadelphia 76ers' Manute Bol during an NBA game at New York's Madison Square Garden.AP Photo/Jim Sulley

Kansas City, Missouri – Former NBA center Manute Bol will be buried in his village in Southern Sudan, family members said last night.

Bol, who died Saturday at the University of Virgina Charlottesville Medical Center, told his cousin Simon Deng that when he died, he wanted to be buried next to his father in their village of Turlai. Simon Deng is now helping Bol's family in Olathe make funeral arrangements. He explained that in Sudan, it's customary for people to be buried with their relatives.

Manute Bol with fellow Dinka tribesmen in Southern Sudan. Photo Credit Tom Prichard

Kansas City, MO – Manute Bol, at 7'7" one of the tallest men to play for the NBA, died this morning in a Charlottesville, Va. Hospital. He had been ill with a variety of problems and was hospitalized a month ago upon his return from his most recent trip to his home country of Sudan. According to family members, his death was caused from irrepressible internal bleeding - a complication from a rare skin disease called Stevens Johnson Syndrome. The syndrome simulates burning of the skin, and Bol was transferred to a burn unit in Charlottesville the day after his arrival in Washington, D.C.

Kansas City, MO – Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig not only made it official yesterday by announcing the 2012 All-Star game for Kansas City, Mo. He came with a message: "Get ready for something big." KCUR's Greg Echlin has more.

The impact of the All-Star game was felt last summer across the state in St. Louis, Mo.

ANNOUNCER (at the All-Star game): "Let's meet your American League and National League All-Stars (clapping)."

Kansas City, MO – There figures to be strong aftershocks this week in college athletics after last week's departures by Nebraska and Colorado from the Big 12 Conference. Decisions this week by the remaining schools in the Big 12 will determine whether the conference survives.

Metaphorically speaking, the tectonic plates represent the schools in the north like KU, K-State and Missouri and the Texas schools in the south.

Kansas City, Missouri – In case you haven't heard, The World Cup Soccer Tournament started Friday.

Big 12 Unraveling?

Jun 9, 2010

Kansas City – The Omaha World Herald said it in its lead sentence published today (Wed., June 9): That an executive at a Big 12 school expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big 10 Conference by as early as Friday. Conference affiliation is on the agenda Friday for the Nebraska Board of Regents meeting. There is also a report out of Texas from Chip Brown, who used to write for The Dallas Morning News. He writes on Orange bloods-dot-com that there's an informal agreement for the Huskers to leave for the Big 10.

Valley Falls, Kan. – This coming weekend, E.H. Young Park in Riverside will serve as a showcase not just for Scottish culture, but for feats of strength as well with the the Kansas City Scottish Highland Games.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

Kansas City, Mo. – The Central Missouri baseball team qualified to go to Division II College World Series. In the regional final on Tuesday night on their home field, the third-ranked Mules defeated Abilene Christian, 11-4.

They'll travel to Cary, North Carolina where they'll be among eight teams at the Division II World Series. The Mules, now 51-9 this season, open against the University of Tampa, Saturday afternoon at noon.

Manute Bol being welcomed by villagers in his home town of Turalei,Southern Sudan. Photo by Tom Prichard- Sudan Sunrise.

Kansas City, Mo. – Manute Bol was recognized on the basketball court for his legendary skill as a center. Off the court, he's become known for his work helping to restore peace and prosperity in his native Sudan, as well as for his remarkable 7'7" height.

Bol was on his way home to Olathe from Southern Sudan when he fell ill.

He underwent emergency dialysis for kidney failure. He got immediate medication for a rare skin disease known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. It came on as an allergic reaction to pain medication.

Royals manager Trey Hillman

Kansas City, Mo. – Trey Hillman's stint as manager of the Kansas City Royals was shy of three full seasons. His firing was announced after the Royals victory over the Cleveland Indians Thursday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium. It was the hope of the Royals' front office that Hillman's success overseas would carry over to the big leagues in Kansas City. But it never materialized.

Kansas City, Mo. – After the Royals snapped their 7-game losing streak on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium, it was announced that manager Trey Hillman was fired. The Royals defeated the Cleveland Indians, 6-4. KCUR's Greg Echlin has more on the chain of events.

Royals General Manager Dayton Moore told Hillman after Wednesday night's game he was making the change. Hillman didn't want to end his Royals manager career with a losing streak, so he was granted permission to stay on one more game with Zach Greinke on the mound.

Kansas City, Kan. – Kansas Speedway kicks off its tenth season with new leadership at the facility.

The track's former president, Jeff Boerger, is now in charge of the casino development immediately outside the speedway. His successor, Pat Warren, takes over the speedway operation at a time when auto racing's fan interest has leveled off.

Kansas City, Mo. – For the past twelve years, Bob Kendrick has been a passionate voice on behalf of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and Vine. As marketing director, Kendrick worked closely with the late Buck O'Neil to promote the legacy of black baseball. But last year, in a controversial move by the museum's board, he was passed over when they selected a new president.

Kansas City, Mo. – The University of Central Missouri's basketball program can be viewed as the cradle of some great basketball coaches.

Phog Allen, Gene Bartow and Joe B. Hall coached at UCM before going elsewhere and leading their respective teams to the NCAA tournament's Final Four.

These days, Kim Anderson is making his mark in Warrensburg. With UCM next victory, Anderson will become the Mule's all-time leader in coaching victories with 179.

Lawrence, Kan. – In college basketball, first place in the Big 12 Conference was on the line last Monday in the game between the University of Kansas and Missouri. KU also has the nation's longest home-court winning streak.

Manhattan, Kan. – Last night's college basketball moment belonged to Kansas State. The Wildcats, ranked tenth in this week's Associated Press poll, knocked off the top-ranked Texas Longhorns, 71-62. They also put themselves in contention for the Big 12 regular season title this year.

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City is one of the 18 official host cities in the U.S. bid for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, requires that each bidding nation submit between 12 and 18 stadiums capable of seating 40,000 or more.

Sunil Gulati is the Chairman of the USA Bid Committee and President of U.S. Soccer. Gulati says the cities selected span all time zones, offer new and old stadiums, and demonstrate a passion for soccer.

Kansas City, MO – The President of the Kansas City Wizards soccer team says work will start next week on a new stadium near the NASCAR track in Wyandotte County. That's bad news for Kansas City officials, who had, until recently, still hoped to lure the project back to the old Banister Mall area.

KU Introduces Turner Gill As Football Coach

Dec 14, 2009
Photo courtesy of the University of Kansas.

Kansas City, MO – Turner Gill was introduced Monday as the new head football coach at the University of Kansas.

Gill comes to the Jayhawks from Buffalo, where he guided the Bulls to the Mid-American championship in 2008 and their first bowl game in half-a-century.

He said his first order of business was to address the returning players Monday night.

Kansas City, MO – KU's champion football coach Mark Mangino stepped down this week, in the wake of a very public investigation as to whether he abused and humiliated his players.

Mangino had been credited with rebuilding the team over the last eight years, leading them to their best season ever in 2007. They went 12-1, won the Orange Bowl, and Mangino was national coach of the year. But some players say he verbally and emotionally abused them, while others say his strict discipline made them into better players and men.

Kansas City, MO – University of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino has resigned two years after leading the Jayhawks to the greatest season in their checkered football history.

The university made the announcement Thursday as athletic director Lew Perkins met with players to give them the news.

Kansas finished 5-7 in a season marked by an internal investigation into Mangino's treatment of his players.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser is lending his support to help land soccer's premier international event. He announced the signing of a Host City Agreement for Arrowhead Stadium to be considered as one of the venues for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Kansas City, MO – Update: Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals has won the American League Cy Young Award, the highest individual honor for a pitcher. Greinke was the Royals number-1 pick out of high school, but three years ago a social disorder almost ended his career. This year, Greinke had the type of season that had long been predicted.

When Zack Greinke pitched at Kauffman Stadium this year, the Royals drew an average of 8,000 more fans a game.

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