This is a busy week for area sports fans.  Not only is the Big 12 basketball season underway with both Kansas schools off to good starts.  Additionally Lee Arena is always a good place to be,  to catch the ‘Bods  and Lady Blues in action. And as always local high school sports have a full schedule in all winter sports. There are two events this week in Topeka to help you forget about that we are in the middle of winter.

First off the Kansas City Royals announced that their annual fan caravan is coming to Topeka on Thursday January 17th.  The group of Royal players will meet fans  at Skinny’s Sports Bar and Grill 4016 SW Huntoon.  The fan caravan offers baseball fans a glimpse into the upcoming baseball season and offers the community a opportunity to meet Royals players in a informal setting.

The Royals Players scheduled to appear are–Topeka native Aaron Crow, first baseman Eric Hosmer, and pitcher Everett Teaford, along with team Hall of Fame member Willie Wilson. The players are scheduled to be at Skinnys around 3:30 p.m. and stay for about an hour.  (A word of caution–the caravan events usually draw a large crowd often start a little later than scheduled so be flexible and allow for time.)

if your thing is seeing some exciting High School basketball action, check out the 51st Topeka Invitational Tournament.  The eight team tournament begins January 17th with a full slate of 4 games.  The tournament with 4 games each day runs through Saturday evening.

This years tournament is hosted by Topeka West and features other local teams Topeka High and Highland Park who will do their best to bring the trophy back to Topeka.  Other teams in the tournament are Wichita East and Wichita Southeast from the always powerful Wichita City League, and KC Washington.  Two teams from the Sunflower League Olathe South, and Lawrence round out the bracket.

The tournament has always been known for a high level of competition.  The Topeka teams always play the guests  from out state tough.  In the 2012 edition of the tournament– Last years champs Sunrise Christian Academy from Wichita featured numerous future Division I players.  Runner-up Topeka High gave this team all they could handle before falling in a physically played game.

Both the Caravan and the Invitational  are long standing events on the Topeka sports scene.  They are guaranteed to help you shake off the post holiday doldrums.