The Court-Naming Initiative

The Interscholastic League Field House Court opened in 1963. Since that time, it has been home to inner-city high school basketball in Kansas City, MO.

Warren Armstrong Jabali played in the first game held on that court. His play, and the play of so many talented players, made the field house come alive, and for so many, made those times come alive, as well.

I am very proud of the role I played in the year-long process involved in getting the field house court named in Warren’s honor. I was joined in the effort by Alex Ellison, Kennie Denman, Murvell McMurry and others, all long-time friends of Warren’s (though Warren did not know of the initiative until it was well under way). And, of course, joined by the Kansas City School Board, its final say a 9 to 0 vote in favor of the naming.

The entire court-naming process is detailed in JABALI: A Kansas City Legend.

Available here is the video I produced for the event. It was shown at the luncheon on the day of the court dedication.


A few weeks following the court-naming event, I was surprised to receive what immediately became a prized possession. Warren sent me his ABA basketball signed by some thirty ABA players. Signees include Julius Erving, George Gervin, Marvin Barnes, Leonard Gray, Mack Calvin, Jumbo Jim Edkins, Willie Davis, Ralph Simpson, Rick Barry, Al Smith, Cincy Powell, Eugene Mo Kennedy, James Silas, and Jabali.

I called Warren immediately to offer my heartfelt thanks but was only able to leave a message. The next day I received the following note. I hesitate to share it as it is personal and by sharing it, I don’t mean to pat myself on the back. Rather, I mean to say that it meant the world to me.

“Glad you like your gift. As you might imagine, its value to some is priceless. I am counted among that group. As priceless as it may be, it does not equal the value of your friendship and the things you have done.” — Warren Jabali, September, 2009