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February 28, 2012
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Thirty-two teams from around the country will come to Kansas City, Mo., to compete in the toughest college basketball tournament March 14-20, 2012.  While they are there to compete for the NAIA National Championship trophy, they take time out to give back to the local Kansas City area by sharing the Champions of Character message with area youth. 

In the last four years more than 15,000 area youth have participated in "Teaming up for Character" events.  NAIA teams will go to YMCA's and talk about the five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.  Local youth organizations and participating schools will also bus students in to listen and interact personally with the players followed by watching the players in action.  They walk away with the understanding of how these values can assist them on the field of athletic competition and in life.

A common reaction Champions of Character staff hear from both parties is that this interaction and event was the most meaningful experience of the tournament.  While the teams give back to the city that makes them feel at home for a week they also walk-away with new fans to cheer them on toward victory.