Kings and Nike Launch Second Season of Game Growers to Cultivate Sports for Girls in Sacramento

Second Season Tips Off with Opportunity for 13-year-old Girls Across the Country to Help Their Peers Play and Love Sports

Today, the Sacramento Kings, in continued partnership with Nike, the WNBA and NBA, announced the second season of Game Growers, a unique and empowering opportunity for girls 13-years or older in seventh or eighth grade to share their ideas on how to encourage more girls to play sports.

The Kings are one of 38 teams participating in the second season of the program. Applications will be accepted up to December 4 for two Co-Captains, who will lead the development of an idea to grow sports for girls. The Kings Game Growers team will develop and test their idea, creating a Game Plan to increase sports participation for girls in Sacramento. New this season will be the addition of Game Growers Teammates, who are girls 13 years or older in seventh or eighth grade who support co-captains on their journey.

“Nike believes that girls who move, move the world. And we know that 13 is a critical age to keep girls engaged in sport so they can reap the benefits of being active,” said NIKE, Inc. General Manager of Social and Community Impact Caitlin Morris. “This is the age when girls are likely to drop out of sport – a lack of supportive coaches or access to the right product to play with confidence are two of many reasons why. Inclusive, community-based programs like Game Growers connect girls to play and sport and provide them with the opportunity to shape the future of the game for other girls, too.”

“We are excited to continue our work with Nike through the Game Growers platform to encourage more girls to be involved in sports,” said Sacramento Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis. “In the over two decades that I have worked in the NBA, I’ve seen the impact and influence of women throughout professional sports organizations grow. We hope this program inspires young women to expand their voices at all levels of the sports world.”

By age 14, girls are dropping out of sport at twice the rate of boys. According to a 2018 study from the Women’s Sports Foundation, nearly 40 percent of girls don’t participate in sport, versus 25 percent of boys. By participating in the program, they not only have the potential for their ideas to get more girls playing, they also have the chance to grow their own leadership potential by developing ideas that make a difference in their community and having their voice heard.

Applications for both Co-Captains and Teammates will be until December 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST at www.gamegrowers.com. Game Growers participants will be notified by January 15, 2021 and will earn a chance to develop their ideas to get more girls playing sports. These ideas – known as the Game Growers Game Plans – will be shared on the website in Spring 2021.

Season One Success
Game Growers projects in the first season embodied five key themes, which collectively create a sport environment where girls are included, valued and supported:

  • CREATE CONNECTION: Promote teamwork, community and skill-building through sport without the need for a “winner.”
  • BRAVE, NOT PERFECT: Build and instill confidence by learning the game's fundamentals through compassion, creativity, and risk-taking.
  • GIRL CHECK: Empower girls to get involved through programs that focus on female mentorship and girls-only camps.
  • LET HER COMPETE: Create diverse opportunities, including multi-sport clinics, co-ed and mixed-age group events, that empower girls to free their competitive drive.
  • PROGRESS, NOT OUTCOMES: Support girls as they find ways to access resources that will break down barriers over time.

Last season, the Kings selected two local students – Leah and Sianna – to represent Sacramento for the Nike Game Growers program. The two eighth-graders were the captains of rival basketball teams who bonded over their shared interest in developing girls’ basketball in their area. Together, they created a kindness campaign called “BecuzIcare11,” which sold homemade bracelets to spread kindness and raise money to fund sports opportunities. With Nike, Leah and Sianna will continue to support girls' opportunities to play in Nike-sponsored leagues with female coaches and mentors. To read more about the girls and their influential work, click here.

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About Nike Social & Community Impact
Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential and build community. We fuel this belief through Made to Play, our commitment to getting kids moving through play and sport so they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives. Together with community partners and our employees around the world, we’re designing innovative solutions to get more than 17 million kids playing, running and jumping their way to a brighter future. Find out more about Nike's commitment to getting kids moving and providing opportunities for equal playing fields for all at www.nike.com/madetoplay.

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