2020 DIRENNA AWARD FINALISTS TO BE RECOGNIZED VIA A VIRTUAL FORMAT
2019 winners Chandler Prater - North Kansas City & Christian Braun Blue Valley Northwest
The DiRenna Award, which originated in 1954, is given annually to the most outstanding male and female high school basketball player in the greater Kansas City area. Due to the ongoing restrictions with regards to coronavirus pandemic, the recognition of the finalists which are usually held in conjunction with the DiRenna All-Stars Award show will now be recorded via a virtual format LIVE ON #THEU UCLICKTV. There will be two separate show, one for the female finalists and one for the male finalists. Each of the shows will feature interviews with all five finalists and the announcement of the recipient of the 2020 DiRenna Award. The date/time and the online platforms where you can watch each of the the shows will be announced next week. 2020 DIRENNA AWARD FINALISTS (in alphabetical order) FEMALE Paige Allen Sr. Oak Park Eylia Love Sr. Olathe North Olivia Nelson Sr. Liberty Kennedy Taylor Jr. Shawnee Mission Northwest Payton Verhulst Jr. Bishop Miege
MALE Byron Alexander Sr. Staley Tamar Bates Jr. Piper Mark Mitchell So. Bishop Miege Reggie Morris, Jr. Sr. Grandview Kian Scroggins Sr. Raymore-Peculiar About the DiRenna Award In 1954, Dr. James A. DiRenna, Sr. and Dr. D.M. Nigro were dedicated to supporting the Don Bosco Center - the center of sports for young athletes from the northeast Kansas City community. With the assistance of the University of Notre Dame and the Rockne Foundation, they worked on developing national community sporting programs and recognizing star athletes in football and basketball. Dr. DiRenna established the basketball award with the first DiRenna Award presented in 1954. Originally, the award was presented to the top male high school basketball player from the Missouri region of Kansas City due to restrictions on the Kansas side regarding players being eligible for this type of recognition, which continued until the early 1980’s. The addition of an award for the top female player was added in 1997. Dr. DiRenna, who passed away in 1996, was a well-known surgeon, teacher and hospital developer. His son, Dr. James A. DiRenna, Jr., has continued the family tradition of this award with the assistance of the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association.