Carrie Rengers

Dick Vitale, Gregg Marshall to speak at Chamber of Commerce event

When the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce this week teased about its annual meeting, there were two clues in one when spokeswoman Angie Prather told Have You Heard? that “it’s going to be Wichitawesome, baby.”

The first clue is that a Wichitan is involved.

It happens to be Wichita State University men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall.

He’s not the only speaker, though.

Joining him will be ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who is known for saying, “Awesome, baby!” among other “Vitale-isms.”

The basketball theme is in advance of Wichita hosting the first round of the NCAA Tournament next year and also comes as the Shockers switch to the American Athletic Conference and plans continue for redevelopment around Lawrence–Dumont Stadium.

“We’ve provided a great springboard to tell that story as Wichita’s emergence as a sports town,” says Gary Plummer, the Chamber’s president and CEO.

“What we’re trying to do is just capture a topic that’s timely,” Plummer says. “We think sports is an exciting story today in Wichita.”

The annual meeting is Nov. 7 at Century II. There’s a 5:30 p.m. dinner followed by the program from 7 to 8:30 followed by a reception.

General admission tickets begin at $35, and student tickets begin at $20. Tickets are available at

Plummer says he’s a basketball fan and grew up in a basketball family. His father was a hall of fame girls high school basketball coach in Iowa.

“I tried to play it myself until I finally realized I was not cut out for it in my senior year,” he says.

What position?

“I was on the end of the bench,” Plummer says. “I was supposed to sit right next to the water boy.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers