June 18th, 2021
Sacramento, Calif. – The fourth season of Kings and Queens Rise launches this week through a partnership among the Sacramento Kings, Build.Black. Coalition, Black Child Legacy Campaign, My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento, First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Cameron Champ Foundation, OneSwing Golf Academy, Architects of Hope and Arden Fair. Kings and Queens Rise is the highly successful co-ed youth sports and mentoring league seeking to prevent and interrupt violence by providing an opportunity for young people to engage in intercommunity activities that provide a caring, productive environment through community building, sportsmanship, and resources for health and safety.
“Over the past three years, the Kings and Queens Rise program has created safe spaces that support the aspirations of young people while connecting them with their peers and introducing them to mentors,” said Sacramento Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis. “We are excited to continue to support this league as it emphasizes the development of teamwork and helps to build confidence and resilience in our youth.”
“With the launch of the 2021 Kings and Queens Rise season, we are bringing together trusted community organizations and leaders, coaches, youth and families for a transformative and healing summer of reconnection and learning,” said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, which manages Kings and Queens Rise, Build.Black., the Black Child Legacy Campaign and My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento. “Amid the challenging circumstances youth have faced over the past 16 months, this program may be more important now for our young people than at any time since its initial launch.”
The fourth season will serve more than 275 youth ages 9 to 18 from eight Sacramento-area neighborhoods: Arden Arcade, Del Paso Heights-North Sacramento, Foothill Farms-North Highlands, Fruitridge-Stockton, Marina Vista, Meadowview, Oak Park and Valley Hi.
Last summer, due to COVID-19, the league expanded to virtual basketball gaming and socially distanced in-person golf training to connect young people in Sacramento with teams, trusted adult coaches who will serve as mentors and provide opportunities to learn new skills. This year, in-person basketball will return, in addition to NBA 2K gaming and golf training.
The five-week basketball season will tip-off on June 19 and run until July 24. Eight teams will participate from each of the focus neighborhoods with games and practices taking place throughout North and South Sacramento in community locations such as the Family Life Center in Oak Park, the Simmons Center and John Still Middle School and Luther Burbank High School. In coordination with the Sacramento County COVID-19 Collaborative, each site will provide rapid testing for players prior to play. Testing is also open to the community.
Season of Golf
The five-week season of golf will begin on June 21 and run until July 26. The golf season will also run throughout the eight communities and support over 60 youth participants. Practices will be held at William Land Golf Course and Foothill Golf Course mid-week. COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be followed according to CDC guidelines.
NBA 2K Games Presented by Arden Fair
Kings and Queens Rise will be partnering with Arden Fair to launch the virtual basketball gaming season the week of July 26. The league will be open to gamers in grades 4 to 12 who register to play NBA 2K and serve up to 80 youth from Sacramento County. Players will be matched with coach mentors and weekly curriculum, courtesy of Architect of Hope, with proven results for improved communications, collaboration, teamwork and social skills. Youth will play at Black Child Legacy Campaign community partner centers throughout the county. In addition, Kings Guard Gaming, the esports affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, will be partnering to support the youth players and engage in conversations about professional opportunities in gaming.