The CrossOver No.4

Hello KEYS family,

This past weekend the KC KEYS hosted our 25th Annual Best Basketball Invitational Tournament. The event took place at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and Winnetonka High School. For this year’s educational program, participants were able to watch the UMKC Women’s Team take on Chicago State University. Participants were able to speak and take pictures with the Roo athletes and coaches after the game. In our inaugural skills challenge, Brendan Perry (KeyLife-Perry) won the 3-point contest on a last second shot.  Teams came from far and near to compete for the covet Keys’ Trophy. Spectators were able to see some of the best talent in the region and rising stars in the country. In all, we awarded eight teams with the championship honor. 

As a former participate of this tournament and now President, I fully understand the value of the volunteers, staff and workers that are needed to make this event so successful. The theme of this year was “Celebrating 25 years of Basketball Excellence” but basketball has not been the only thing that has excelled over the years. We celebrate volunteerism excellence, programming excellence, and leadership excellence.  All these traits were on display this weekend as they have been pillars of the tournament for the last quarter of a century, which has led to our continued existence. 

I would be remiss to not take this opportunity to send a special thanks and gratitude, to the Founder of the Keys BBIT, 25-year tourney director, and former president, Harrel Johnson Jr.  Thank you for your consistency and dedication to youth sports in Kansas City and providing an avenue for others to learn from and grow. Your work, mostly unspoken, has been vital to the culture and nature of youth sports in Kansas City and neighboring cities and states. 
Moving into the spring season, here are a few happenings within the KEYS that you can look forward to:
1 .  March 10- KEYS Scholars Resume Building and Mock Interviews
2.   April 7th- KEYS Scholars Financial Freedom Seminar
3.   April 26th- 2nd Annual Danny Williams Scholarship Awards Ceremony
4.   April TBA- KEYS Basketball Tournament

If you are interested in volunteering, mentoring, or becoming a coach, please email me at or fill out a volunteer on 

Until next time, keep your head high and your crossover low,

LaToya Valerio

LaToya ValerioComment