NAIA to honor Jerry Colangelo At The Fourth Annual Champions of Character Foundation Awards Luncheon

August 30, 2016
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced today that Jerry Colangelo, Managing Director for USA’s Men’s Basketball, will serve as the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Champions of Character Foundation Awards Luncheon on Monday, November 7th from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Kansas City Convention Center Grand Ballroom. Last year’s Champions of Character luncheon was highly successful with over 850 in attendance and nearly $200,000 raised.

Re-elected on Nov. 13, 2012, Colangelo became the first individual elected to serve back-to-back terms as USA Basketball's chairman/president since the organization was formed in 1972. Colangelo's first involvement with USA Basketball began on April 27, 2005, when he was announced as the Managing Director of the then newly organized USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program.

Taking control of the USA National Team that had not won a major international competition since 2000, Colangelo confidently rebuilt the program from the bottom up. Obtaining the involvement of the NBA’s top players, and securing the involvement of some of basketball’s most respected coaches, Colangelo’s first step in his rebuilding process was naming Duke University’s Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski as the USA National Team head coach.

Since Colangelo took charge of the national team, the USA men have compiled a remarkable 62-1 record and have claimed gold medal finishes at the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2012 London Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Championship, 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, and won bronze at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

“We are particularly excited to have Jerry Colangelo as our keynote speaker for the NAIA’s fourth annual Champions of Character luncheon,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “Jerry embodies the core values of Champions of Character and we are thrilled to honor him at our luncheon.”

The luncheon also recognizes individuals and businesses that embody Champions of Character’s five core values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Servant Leadership. Awards will be given to a Kansas City Metro High School Student-Athlete of Character; Collegiate Student-Athlete of Character; Coach of Character; Company of Character and Team of Character. Award nominations opened July 1st.

Champions of Character was launched in 2000 and strives to make character education for coaches, athletics staff and student-athletes a priority. The Champions of Character program extends beyond the 250 NAIA-member colleges and universities, reaching high school athletes and youth sports teams all over the country. In the Kansas City metro area, more than 2,500 athletes, parents and coaches benefit from Champions of Character activities, presentations, and clinics each year.

Champions of Character is supported by the Champions of Character Foundation, which is dedicated to providing character training and resources to help those who work in the athletics community. Support from the luncheon helps to create a better culture in sport through the advancement of character education programs.

Tickets for the luncheon start at $100 and can be purchased at www.championsofcharacter.org/luncheon. Sponsorship opportunities are also still available.

For more information, contact Amy Stover at astover@naia.org or 816.595.8117.


The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 60,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $500 million in scholarships and compete in 23 national championships.