by Kelly Rogge

KCKCC’s Athletic Director Tony Tompkins believes that student athletes can be as successful in the classroom as they are on the court. And to recognize that success, the community college is hosting its first Academic Success Night.

“We are raising our standards,” Tompkins said. “We want to create a culture of winning, but also of academic success. I think you can do both.”

KCKCC’s first Academic Success Night starts at 7 p.m. tonight at the KCKCC Fieldhouse, 7250 State Ave. Of the college’s 165 athletes, about 80 have maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average during the fall 2014 semester.

Tompkins said since athletics started keeping academic statistics five years ago, this has been the best semester so far for student athletes.

“The idea for the Academic Success Night came after a conversation with Dr. (Jonathan) Long as we were brainstorming ways to recognize these students,” he said. “There is this misconception that student athletes don’t do well in the classroom. We wanted to show that in fact, many excel in the classroom.”

The overall GPA of the student athletes this year is 3.06, up from 2.93 in 2013. The KCKCC Golf Team had the highest overall GPA with 3.32. Average team GPA for each sport includes:

• Golf – 3.32
• Softball – 3.26
• Baseball – 3.23
• Volleyball – 3.05
• Women’s Track – 3.04
• Women’s Basketball – 3.01
• Men’s Track – 2.94
• Women’s Soccer – 2.89
• Men’s Soccer – 2.76
• Men’s Basketball – 2.68

“Now is the perfect time to start recognizing the great work these student athletes are doing,” Tompkins said. “Our plan is to repeat this every year.”

Both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams are wrapping up a successful regular seasons tonight. Currently, the Lady Blue Devils are 1st in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, first in the region and ranked 4th in the nation. They will play Johnson County Community College, ranked 5th in the nation, at 5 p.m. The Men’s team is ranked first in the region and 3rd in the conference. They will play JCCC at 7 p.m. All of the student athletes will be recognized during half-time of the men’s game.

If both teams win tonight, they will likely have the No. 1 seed in the regional tournament.

“They deserve this,” Tompkins said of the student athletes. “Each of these students represents our college every day. They go to class, many have jobs outside of school, they have practices and go to fundraising events. They do so much, and we definitely need to do something to recognize them for their hard work.”

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.


Piper High School — basketball at Bishop Ward


– Piper Varsity won 77-45, JV won 50-13, and 9th won 55-16


– Piper Varsity won 65-63, JV won 73-56, and 9th won 56-37

– From Doug Key, Piper High School activities director

Sporting Kansas City announced on Wednesday that the club has signed forward James Ansu Rogers, the 53rd overall selection (third round) in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.

The University of New Mexico product has been added to the team’s roster.

“We’re very happy for James,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “Because of his persistence and work ethic, he has earned himself a roster spot for Sporting KC.”

“It is a great opportunity to be with such a wonderful group of guys,” Ansu Rogers said. “I really appreciate the chance I have been given. I look forward to working hard and doing my best.”

Ansu Rogers, 21, was a member of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team in 2012 after first representing the U.S. at the under-15 level in 2007. A native of Sierra Leone, Ansu Rogers moved to the United States at age 11 and competed for the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake academies prior to being recruited to the University of New Mexico.

He contributed 22 goals, fourth most in program history, and 20 assists during a four-year collegiate career, leading the Lobos to three straight first-place finishes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (2011, 2012) and Conference USA (2013). After reaching the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 16 in his first two collegiate seasons, the Lobos advanced to the College Cup semifinals for only the second time in school history in 2013.

Last month, Ansu Rogers was named one of 24 national semifinalists for the prestigious Wooden Citizenship Cup by Athletes for a Better World and was invited to attend the 2015 MLS Player Combine in Florida. He scored in one of three matches at the annual showcase event and recorded the sixth-highest vertical jump among all participants.

Ansu Rogers has appeared in all four matches for Sporting Kansas City during the team’s preseason campaign, most recently scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday.

Sporting KC will resume preseason action at 9 p.m. tonight against Real Salt Lake as the top two teams in the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup play at Kino North Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

- Story from Sporting KC