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Mar, 2019

Honorees Announced for 2019 Sonic GABL Honors Program

The program was held Tuesday, March 26 at the Thompson Barn (formerly the Lenexa Conference Center).

Dave and Kelly Tines were awarded the “Making a Difference” Award. This award is given to individuals who have made a positive difference in the lives of youth, serves the community in a positive manner and promotes the values of athletic participation.  D
ave and Kelly Tines have served as coach and team mom for youth football, baseball, lacrosse and basketball teams and worked with students involved in Scouts.  In 2012, they started the West is Best Scholarship Fund with the hope that all interested students in the SM West area would be able to participate in afterschool activities, regardless of financial status. Since its inception, 775 scholarships totaling over $72,000 have been awarded as well as outreach programs to assist SM West families with sporting and Scout equipment, reduced price physicals and the Vikingpalooza Family Fun Fest.

Gary Brown was the 2019 recipient of the Marcus Priddy Award. This award is named in honor of the late Shawnee Mission West girls basketball coach and GABL summer league staff member. It recognizes a current coach (youth, high school or college) who is making a positive difference in the lives of his or her players.  Coach Gary has coached girls and boys youth basketball for over 30 years.  He began with coaching his own daughter in the late 1980s and has been coaching with the Eclipse Basketball Club for over 15 years.  He currently serves as the club’s Recruiting Coordinator. He spends countless hours on the phone checking up on current and former players, advising them, coaching them, building their confidence, and listening to them.  About 25 supporters, including family, current and former players and coaches, attended the event to support him.

Rich Hunter was recognized with the first GABL Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his 30 years of service as a volunteer coach for 6 years and area director for three years until his company, Sports Management Associates, assumed management responsibilities of the Great American Basketball League (GABL) in 1995. Over the last 25 years, GABL has grown from a winter league for 2,200 boys in the Shawnee Mission School District to a year-round  program for over 8,000 boys and girls throughout Kansas City.

The 4th Annual Mark Cahill CHIPPA Award for Officiating Excellence, is presented to an official who meets the CHIPPA Criteria of Communicate, Hustle, In Position, and Positive Attitude.  The award is named for Mark Cahill, a multi-sport official and GABL Court of Honor member who passed away in 2015.  This year’s recipient was Ted Allen. Ted officiated at the youth, high school and college level in multiple sports for 30 years.  

The GABL Court of Honor was established in 2003 to recognize those who have distinguished themselves through service to GABL and have been a positive influence on the youth of our community. The class of 2019 Court of Honor included Jim Walsh, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Rich Hunter. Jim served on the GABL Board for 4 years, including two years as secretary-treasurer.  Dick’s Sporting Goods has been a supporter of GABL through the corporate sponsor program since 2003 and has supported  many programs offered by GABL.

In order to recognize current coaches in the GABL winter program who are making a positive difference in the lives of our youth, GABL has established the designation of “Coach of Character”, awarded each year to one girl’s and one boy’s coach.  Parents and coaches nominated over 50 winter program coaches to receive the Coach of Character designation.  Those selected for 2019 were:  Fred Short, 4th grade girls, and Jeff Deardorff, 4th grade boys.

The GABL Youth Sports Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)-3 community service corporation. Its mission is to serve youth by establishing and supporting opportunities through sports that will make a positive lifelong impact on their physical, social and mental development. Currently, the Foundation’s significant program initiatives are the Great American Basketball League and the GABL Basketball Academy.  For more information about the foundation and its programs, call 913/236-8833 or go to  The GABL Offices are located at 15030 W. 106th Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66215.

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