Men’s Basketball Preps for Season On and Off the Court

The UMKC’s Men’s Basketball team is gearing up to hold its fifth annual Tip-off dinner Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the college basketball experience in downtown Kansas City. The event will introduce the team to the community and raise funds for the upcoming season.

“It’s a lot of contacting local fans and donors,” said Brian Morris, Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Operation, in reference to preparation for an event like this.

The Tip-Off dinner started five years ago as a way for the men’s basketball program to fill in the gaps of funding. The event’s initial success has kept it going for the last several years.

“Coach Kareem understood the need for additional support for the team,” said Morris. “So, he started this initiative that allows him to raise money for the program.”

The funds are critical to the program’s success, allowing the program to purchase equipment that not only benefits the men’s basketball team but the athletic department as a whole. Through the donation of these private funds, the program is able to train the team to become faster, stronger and more competitive opponents.

“The Vertimax equipment is one of those items that the men’s basketball team was able to purchase,” said Morris. “All of our student-athletes are able to utilize items like these to become better players.”

For the first time this year, the Athletics department is partnering with the administrative department at UMKC to ensure a bigger, more effective event.

Laura Rupp, Director of Special events and conferences.

Laura Rupp, Director of Special events and conferences.

Director of Events and Conference Services, Laura Rupp, took care of some of the logistics for the athletics department, starting with site visits, contracts, and catering.

When meeting with the athletics department, the group set goals for turn out and they were able to work from there on venue sizes and catering menus.

“It’s been fun working with athletics so far,” said Rupp. “I got to meet a lot of great people that I probably wouldn’t get to work with so closely. It’s been a great journey helping athletics to pull off an event like this.”

This year’s Tip-Off dinner is set to host guest speaker, Bruce Weber, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Kansas State University. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception and silent auction followed by the program and dinner.


To reserve a seat and support the efforts of the UMKC Athletics Department visit the website at

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