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NAIA Announces DI MBB Championship Partnership with Sports Medicine Center at Children's Mercy

Sports Medicine Center at Children's Mercy
November 03, 2017
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Story by Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Athletics Communications & Media
Photo courtesy of Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Mercy

photo cutline: Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Mercy staff attend to a player during the NAIA National Championship

The NAIA is excited to announce a partnership with the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Mercy to be a Champions level sponsor of the 2018 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship. The Sports Medicine Center joins Sporting Kansas City, US Bank and DST as Champions level partners of the event.

The 81st annual national championship tournament is slated for March 14-20 in downtown Kansas City at Municipal Auditorium. Children’s Mercy and the NAIA will team up to support the longest running collegiate basketball national championship, rich with passion and tradition. Tickets will go on sale Monday, Dec. 4.

Within the partnership, the Sports Medicine Center at Children’s Mercy will be the official healthcare and sports medicine provider for the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship. The Center is uniquely qualified to provide athletic training services to student athletes. They also provide athletic training services for Sporting Kansas City’s Academy Teams and more than 20 area schools and sports clubs. 

Other partnership elements include the recognition of the top performing boys and girls metro-area high school basketball teams at the championship, a youth sports clinic in partnership with the KC Sports Commission on Saturday, March 17th that includes game tickets for each participant and a special session for parents where they learn about sports injuries and preventions from experts at the Sports Medicine Center. Additionally, the Sports Medicine Center co-hosts a luncheon for the athletic trainers of the 32 championship teams before the tournament begins to provide the visiting athletic trainers a comprehensive overview of the medical services provided by Children’s Mercy during the tournament.

“We are thrilled to have Children’s Mercy as our partner for the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President/CEO. “The Sports Medicine Center does a fantastic job to support the championship and the needs of our student athletes. Their medical and athletic training staff keep the players healthy and in the game and their partnership is critical to supporting this major national championship in the Kansas City community.”

“Being part of this great tournament and providing medical and athletic training services is really important to us,” says Kevin Latz, MD, Section Chief, Sports Medicine. “These college athletes are playing at such a high level. Performance is key but staying healthy and properly managing injuries can mean the difference between advancing in the tournament and going home. We’re there to keep the athletes safe.”

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About Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Founded in 1897, Children’s Mercy is one of the nation’s top pediatric medical centers. With not-for-profit hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, and numerous specialty clinics in both states, Children’s Mercy provides the highest level of care for children from birth through the age of 21. U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly ranked Children’s Mercy as one of “America's Best Children's Hospitals.” For the fourth time in a row, Children’s Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to fewer than seven percent of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. Its faculty of more than 700 pediatric subspecialists and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists. Thanks to generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s Mercy provides medical care to every child who passes through its doors, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. For more information about Children’s Mercy and its research, visit For breaking news and videos, follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

About National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA):  The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs dedicated to championships in balance with the overall college educational experience. Each year more than 65,000 NAIA student-athletes have the opportunity to play college sports, earn over $600 million in scholarships, and compete for a chance to participate in 25 national championships.