KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s and women’s basketball programs kicked-off their 2018-19 season with the annual Roo Basketball Gala at the College Basketball Experience inside the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City.
The sold-out event was highlighted by a keynote address from Cuonzo Martin, the men’s basketball coach at Missouri.
In addition to the keynote delivered by Coach Martin, UMKC Chancellor, Dr. C Mauli Agrawal presented his vision for UMKC and the athletics department to all in attendance.
Along with Chancellor Agrawal’s remarks, the athletics department launched the Roos Scholarship Fund, which provides over 240 student-athletes with the opportunity to receive a top-tier education, develop life skills and compete athletically in both national and international competitions.
“It was fantastic to welcome the Kansas City community to the RBG, we not only previewed the season but we launched the RSF and showcased the progress of our Athletic Department," Interim Director of Athletics Ursula Gurney said. "We look forward to the seasons ahead and the future of Athletics at UMKC.”
With all 30 available tables sold, the fundraiser benefited the men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as the UMKC Athletic department as a whole. The Roos also showcased their new fight song, hand symbol and alma mater, while the upgrades to the Roos on campus home at Swinney were on display for attendees.
During the event, players from both the men’s and women’s squad were introduced to the sold-out crowd, while men’s head coach Kareem Richardson and women’s head coach Jacie Hoyt each gave their thoughts on their teams.
On the men’s side, Richardson enters his sixth year as head coach of the Roos and comes into the season with a young squad that nearly upset Grand Canyon a season ago in the WAC Tournament. During his tenure, Richardson has guided the Roos to the second most wins in a season in school history and UMKC’s first-ever trip to the postseason.
Entering her second year at the helm of the women’s team, Hoyt’s squad will take part in 29 regular season games this season with three coming against Power Five opponents. The schedule holds 14 home contests to be played at Swinney, including the third consecutive Roo Holiday Classic.
The men’s squad will open the season on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. CT at Loyola, while the women’s squad takes on Southwest Baptist in Swinney at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 2.
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– UMKC –