It’s one thing to play for Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes wants to feel like part of the community.
That was among the messages Mahomes, the Chiefs star quarterback, delivered on Thursday evening at the Kansas City Sports Commission Banquet at the Muehlebach Tower of the downtown Marriott.
”You have that sense of passion, that sense of community,” Mahomes said. “And the fans, the way they show up at Arrowhead every week.
”Whenever I’m in the community ... people are genuine.”
The community responded at Thursday’s event, where Mahomes was named Sportsman of the Year, by providing a standing ovation as Mahomes, the NFL’s MVP, was introduced.
Not just any standing ovation. Implored by emcee Dave Stewart, the audience rose to show their appreciation by miming some of Mahomes’ gestures, the bow-and-arrow, the biceps flex and the Texas Tech guns-up gesture.
”It’s worked out perfectly,” Mahomes said in his introductory message. “I love (Chiefs) Coach (Andy) Reid, love this coaching staff, this front office, and of course I love the city. It’s given me a platform to be myself.”
Mahomes, beginning his third NFL season, recently bought a home in Kansas City. He said after minicamp concluded on Thursday that he’ll take some time off but will return to town to begin a throwing program with receivers.
”And hopefully play a little golf,” he said.
Also honored on Thursday were Sportswomen of the Year: Stanford University volleyball All-Americas Audriana Fitzmorris and Jenna Gray. They’ve won NCAA championships and before that Kansas high shcool state championships at St. James Academy.
Northwest Missouri State basketball coach Ben McCollum, who led the Bearcats to the NCAA Division II men’s championship with a record of 38-0 this past season, was named Coach of the Year.
The Community Champion was former Oklahoma All-America softball pitcher Paige Parker. The former Truman High standout spent last season as an assistant coach at William Jewell.
Chris Brown, a member of the T-Bones front office since the Independent League baseball team’s inception in 2002, was named Executive of the Year. Brown is in his 11th year as the organization’s vice president and general manager.