Park notebook: Jamal James named 2019 AMC Athletic Trainer of the Year

Jamal James has earned the 2019 American Midwest Conference Athletic Trainer of the Year, the league office announced June 20.

James, a former Park basketball player under current athletic director Claude English, leads a four-person athletic training team as Park University’s top athletic trainer.

“Jamal always carries himself as a true professional at all times, whether that is in the training room, at the practice facility or on game days,” English said in a press release. “He is always quick to treat not only our Park student-athletes, but those athletes that participate at Park home events from an opposing institution.”

The AMC award recognizes a NATA certified trainer at an NAIA school who has distinguished themselves as a model of the profession of athletic training in personal conduct and professional conduct and professional allied health and service to athletes, according to the release.

With the conference honor, James became eligible for the national award — named the NAIA-ATA Athletic Trainer of the Year — which will be announced in September.

James, originally from Chicago, oversees Park’s drug testing program, and has played a role in revamping the sports medicine page on the school’s athletics website and he implemented the school’s concussion accommodation form, the release said.

“Jamal has continued to look for ways to improve the overall health and well-being of our student-athletes,” English said. “Over the past few years, he has expressed to me the growing questions and potential issues as it relates to nutrition, diet and hydration. He has explored options of how to address this need and over the summer he was able to add Shelly Munch, a certified dietitian to discuss different ways to meet athletes’ dietary needs, which is different from a conventional student.”

James has prior sports medicine experience with two NBA organizations in the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards, along with a pair of NBA developmental teams and the Harlem Globetrotters. Additionally, James has worked for four local school districts in Kansas City, Belton, Grandview and Hickman Mills, and with now-defunct Arena Football League teams in the Kansas City Brigade and the South Georgia Wildcats.


The Park softball team has been selected as the inaugural winner of the AMC Women’s Champions of Character Team award, the league recently announced.

“We are honored to be receiving this award,” Park softball coach Lindsey Derry said in a release. “We put a premium on serving our community and having a team full of respectful student-athletes. Every semester we look for different service projects to give back to the Parkville and Kansas City-area. This award goes far beyond our successes on the softball field and shows our program’s commitment to servant leadership.”

According to the release, the 2018-19 Pirates team recorded 278 community service hours, with events such as Platte Senior Citizen cleanup days, KC Pet Project volunteer days and Millhouse Thunder softball activities and learning experiences.

“Coach Derry, her coaching staff and student-athletes have always put character first in their program and it is shown on a daily basis unequivocally,” English said in the release. “We are so proud of them garnering this award and it is very well deserved.”

The Pirates are now eligible for the NAIA-CCA national award, which will be announced in September.


The Park track and field team recently announced 20 new members to its program for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Pirates will welcome in at least 11 college freshman, seven junior college transfers, one Division II transfer and an international transfer.

Nine of the 11 freshman hail from the Kansas City-area. Three are from Fort Osage in Emari Grimes, Angelina Lyons and Benjamin Preston, while Jasmine Banks comes from Kansas City East High School, Koby Turner is from Blue Springs, Justin Watanabe from Staley, Jaren Jones from Raymore-Peculiar, Andrew Apgar from Turner and Bella Musselman from Shawnee Mission West.

Lorissa Bailey of Leavenworth, Kan., and Anna Scott of Humansville, Mo., are the other incoming freshmen.

Three of the JUCO transfers are making the switch from Coffeyville — Dalton Miller of Grain Valley, Aisha Cobb and Shikayla Walker, while two Kansas City, Kansas natives are transferring in from Neosho County — Larry Jones and Jaylaan Castro.

Highland transfer and Lee’s Summit North product Daunte Walker and Treasure Valley CC transfer Alison Gibson are the others making the move from the JUCO ranks.

The Pirates are gaining transfer Chaniya Alioth from Missouri Western State and Victor Kibet from Kapsabet, Kenya.


Andrea Maggio became the second Park volleyball player to capture academic all-America honors during the 2018-19 school year.

Maggio, a senior men’s player, joined women’s player Nada Meawad in garnering a Google Cloud Academic All-America At-Large first team selection, it was recently announced.

A first-team all-conference pick, Maggio was one of three NAIA men’s volleyball players — Morningside’s Jimmy Aschenbrenner and Robert Morris’ Bobby Ying — to be named to the team. The honorable mention All-America performer aided the Pirates No. 6 national ranking this past season.

Maggio produced 48 aces, ranking No. 9 nationally, during his final campaign. He finished his career with 483 kills, 281 assists, 84 aces,103 blocks and 328 digs.