Kansas City has a new professional basketball team. What to know about the KCrossover

A new professional women’s basketball team is coming to Kansas City.

This summer, the KCrossover, pronounced “KC Crossover,” will play its first season in the Global Women’s Basketball Association, a small professional league in the Midwest.

The organization aims to provide more opportunities and teams beyond the WNBA for talented women to play professionally, according to league owner Sonya Nichols.

“We have numerous players that either have played or are playing in the WNBA,” Nichols told The Star Tuesday. “We want to extend the reach of women’s basketball, and just really put ourselves out there to (show) fans that they do have options outside of the WNBA, but with just as much quality.”

The league has been running since 2016, and its teams currently include the Wisconsin Glo, the Flint Monarchs and the St. Louis Surge. The KCrossover will be its fourth team.

What is the KCrossover?

The KCrossover is a professional women’s basketball team complete with contracts, sponsors and a roster of 12 paid players, plus six or seven unpaid backup players, team captain De’Jionae Calloway told The Star.

“Really, in America, there’s not really been options for women’s basketball. And so the fact that someone was able to see some of that talent that was here, and have the resources to bring a team here, we had no choice but to start it up,” said Calloway, who graduated from Lee’s Summit West High School and played Division 1 basketball at Texas State University and California State University Northridge. “There are so many people just waiting for that opportunity.”

Many of the team’s players spend the fall and winter months playing basketball overseas, where more opportunities are available, and will play for KCrossover in the summer. Calloway has played in professional leagues in Switzerland and Saudi Arabia, and said that her teammates have played in countries including Poland, Finland, Germany and Australia.

Some also have day jobs, fitting in practice three evenings a week and traveling to games on the weekends.

Getting off the ground

Calloway said that part of the motivation behind starting the KCrossover is to give these talented players opportunities to hone their skills and advance their athletic careers right here in Kansas City.

But in order to make that possible, the team is asking for the community’s help.

“We have a lot of really, really great organizations and people and companies that have started working with us. It’s just not enough,” Calloway said.

While the league provides some money for basic equipment and a small portion of players’ payment, the rest of the team’s funding comes from sponsorships and donations.

Players have been hosting fundraising events around the city to raise awareness about the team and to try to secure a gym where they can host home games.

The Global Women’s Basketball Association’s 2023 schedule shows games between the midwest-based league’s four teams, including the new KCrossover based in Kansas City. KCrossover via Instagram
The Global Women’s Basketball Association’s 2023 schedule shows games between the midwest-based league’s four teams, including the new KCrossover based in Kansas City. KCrossover via Instagram

How can I watch and support KCrossover?

While the GWBA season officially starts on June 3rd, the KCrossover will play its first game of the season on June 10th in St. Louis against the St. Louis Surge. You can view the full game schedule here.

Kansas City’s first home game isn’t until July 8th — but the team is still looking for a venue where they can host the Wisconsin Glo. Once the game’s location is decided, tickets will go on sale. Season tickets and courtside ticket packages will also be available.

Calloway said that the team’s website is under construction, but it should be up by next week. In the meantime, you can get the latest on KCrossover news from the team’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Do you have more questions about women’s sports in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at kcq@kcstar.com.