North Kansas City girls basketball team honored as NAIA ‘Champions of Character’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This year's North Kansas City girl's basketball team will be remembered by the Northtown community for bringing home the program's first state championship.

Butt they'll also be remembered for being better people off of the court. On Monday, the girls were honored by the NAIA as Champions of Character.

Integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership are all things the Lady Hornets pride themselves on.

"Us being leaders on our team, like all seven of us, you don't really hear about that a lot because we all have of our own piece of leadership that we share and give to the younger kids. But character and off the court is a big thing for us," NKC senior Chandler Prater said.

With smiles on their faces, the team took the stage at the annual NAIA Champions of Character Awards Luncheon.

"It really means a lot to not just me, but all of us to be recognized for what we do off the court," NKC senior LaJahda Boyland said. "It's special to be recognized for the things you do, just trying to be a good person. It's everybody and just trying to get along and make a big impact in our school."

It's an impact many have noticed.

The girls were nominated by people in the Northtown community and voted on as the "Team of Character." It's something Head CoachJeff Lacy isn't surprised by.

"I know this is cliche to say, but it really is true with our girls," he said. "We had seven seniors this year. All seven are going to go on to be college students and most of them will be college student athletes. All year long, they've worked extremely hard on and off the court to personify Northtown in general."

The athletes also host events through Future Hornet Night. The events are used to help build connections with younger students in the North Kansas City School District.

"Your legacy on the court will sometimes be overshadowed by the next star that comes. But what you do off the court will impact lives and impact kids lives for years and years," Tamika Catchings said.

Dozens of other metro athletes were honored Monday as well.

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