KANSAS CITY, Mo. — FOX4 first met the AAU team KC Titans last week when they were looking for help to get to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas that they worked hard to qualify to make.
The challenge was that the costs to travel and stay in Vegas were too steep for many of the players and their families, and the Titans didn’t have the large donors or sponsorships that other similar teams often have.
FOX4 shared their story last Wednesday, while the team hoped that something would happen in the next 48 hours to change their fortunes.
Less than 24 hours after the story ran, the Titans got a call from Rally House.
“They reached out and said, ‘Hey, we’d love to bridge the gap of what you need,” said one of the Titans’ Coaches Jake Mooney. “Which was sort of a state of shock, it was like, ‘what?”
On top of covering the cost, Rally House helped solve the logistical challenges of getting a basketball team and its coaches across the country and finding a place to stay.
“When I found out, I was in shock,” said Titans player Ayden Mooney. “It was like: that it actually happened.”
Despite the chaos, long list of flight complications, and team members flying for the first time, Jake says the team played well, getting to the tournament’s Final Four round before dropping a game that Ayden was sure the Titans would win.
“When we got there, it was kind of like, ‘Alright, now we’re here, we know what we’re doing,” Jake said. “Because that’s the comfort zone, we know what we’re doing on a court, doesn’t matter if it’s in Kansas City or Las Vegas.”
Off the court, the Titans got a chance to see the Vegas strip and bonded in a short-term rental that was big enough to fit them all.
“It was fun,” Ayden said. “It was like having your best friends in the house and playing your favorite sport.”
“For them, they saw that a community of people will help them to go and rise up all together,” Jake said. “That’s the beautiful thing, especially for some of those [players] that might not have ever had that opportunity.”