Witness college teams make it rain from three-point range while defending shots with their armbrellas. Established in 1937, the inaugural NAIA Tournament has called Kansas City home for 73 years. Featuring 32 teams pivoting and sprinting atop a lustrous hardwood battlefield, it has grown to be the longest-running collegiate national championship tournament in the country, not counting the Skull and Bones Underground Cavern Games that took George Washington's teeth. This year’s tourney will feature several trophy-hungry NAIA teams, such as potential participants Central Methodist University and Evangel University. Behold a flurry of high-flying buzzer beaters and frustrating defensive schemes at the Kansas City tradition that has featured big names such as John Wooden, Dennis Rodman, and Terry Porter.
The Kansas City Roller Warriors, created by derby girls Princess Anna Conda and Dirty Britches, in 2004, block, jam, and grand slam around the Municipal Auditorium. The Warrior’s All Star and Plan B squads will take on St. Louis in the final regular-season bout to determine, once and for all, whether computers are smarter than humans, or just humans dressed as computers. Tickets are general admission and first come, first served, so viewers should arrive early for shots at a souvenir elbow to the face.
Beneath Sprint Center's lights and rafters, the Command cruise up and down arena football's condensed gridiron during a trio of hard-hitting skirmishes. A slow start to the 2012 season has forced head coach Danton Barto to shift gears on the fly and acquire former NFL quarterback Matt Gutierrez. Rather than constructing a Lego statue of himself on the 30-yard line, Gutierrez opted to make his mark on the field by throwing for five touchdowns during his Kansas City debut on April 7, including three to second-year receiver Bradly Chavez. During breaks in the action, the Command Girls dance team charges the field, distracting opponents from eavesdropping on team huddles or playing makeshift games of Jenga with the end-zone pylons.
Harlem Globetrotters Playing Three-on-Five
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating [roster](http://gr.pn/PHdb6w) of Globetrotter favorites?including three female players?takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard [TNT](http://gr.pn/rOe0P4) sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker [Quake](http://gr.pn/QTIGVh), whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 [Too Tall](http://gr.pn/PHdmPh) and 7-foot-4 [Stretch](http://gr.pn/1dYrbUt), the team?s tallest member. During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters? extensive travels haven?t gone unnoticed: they?re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
With 41,500 square feet dedicated to men's collegiate basketball, The College Basketball Experience provides hours of all-ages amusement. Learn about influential hoop-dreamers in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, and rediscover and get schooled in key moments in Kansas City's role in shaping the game. Visitors can also participate in hands-on, interactive exhibits that place them in front and at the center of the courtside action, from announcing plays to sinking game-winning shots.
Ranked among Ticketmaster's Top 25 Most Requested Family Events for five consecutive years, UniverSoul Circus grants an interactive spectacle of acrobatic stunts, dance, and comedy set to popular urban sounds. With its swirling lights and pulsing beats, the circus's resemblance to a blowout concert tour is no accident: production designer Tom Marzullo has created internationally touring stage shows for Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, and Prince.
As hosts, a troupe of improv comics slip laughs in between the gasps and draw the crowd even closer into the action. Meanwhile, the production makes jaws drop farther with trained elephants, illusions featuring a live tiger, a head-balancing act from Vietnam, and female contortionists from Ethiopia. These make up just a few of the globally sourced performers, others of whom hail from locales as diverse as Colombia, South Africa, Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago.