Kings and Queens Rise Co-Ed Youth Sports and Mentoring League Launches Third Season Virtually

Summer League Formed in Partnership with Sacramento Kings, Build.Black. Coalition and Black Child Legacy Campaign to Connect Communities and Create Positive Sports Experiences for Youth in Sacramento

-- New Partnerships with First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Cameron Champ Foundation and OneSwing Golf Academy to Make Golf Accessible to Local Youth --

-- Six-week Season of Golf Began July 31 and NBA 2K Games Begin August 3 --

The Sacramento Kings in partnership with the Build.Black. Coalition, Black Child Legacy Campaign, My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento, First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Cameron Champ Foundation and OneSwing Golf Academy have launched the third season of Kings and Queens Rise, the highly successful co-ed youth sports and mentoring league. Due to COVID-19, the league, which for the past two summers has hosted weekly basketball games in different neighborhoods, will provide virtual basketball gaming and socially distanced in-person golf training to connect young people in Sacramento with teams, trusted adult coaches and opportunities to learn new skills. The league seeks 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.

“Sports has the ability to tremendously impact lives, create a space for healing and build both confidence and character,” said Sacramento Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis. “We have seen the transformative success of the Kings and Queens Rise program over the past two years and we’re excited to once again support skills development and community building through NBA2K and the game of golf, providing opportunities for local youth to interact safely during this time of social distancing.”

The third season will serve more than 200 youth aged 11 to 17 from eight Sacramento-area neighborhoods: Arden Arcade, Del Paso Heights-North Sacramento, Foothill Farms-North Highlands, Fruitridge-Stockton Blvd., Marina Vista, Meadowview, Oak Park and Valley Hi.

Young people who play the NBA2K video game will be matched with mentors and weekly curriculum that has shown improved communication, collaboration, teamwork, social skills and critical life lessons, with curriculum developed by Chris Robinson of 4 Your Epiphany. Youth interested in joining a neighborhood NBA2K team or learning about the sport of golf are encouraged to sign up at the Black Child Legacy Campaign web site or My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento web page.

“Kings and Queens Rise is not only a meaningful community-building activity for its participants, it is also an important element of a wide-ranging strategy to support youth as they create a vision and pathway to achieve a just and equitable future,” said Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, which manages Build.Black., the Black Child Legacy Campaign and My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento.

Last month, the Sacramento Kings developed a “Pledge to Our Black Community” to help combat social and racial injustice and invest in meaningful change. As part of the pledge, the team donated $75,000 to collaborate on a series of youth and young adult-led Kings and Queens Rise workshops, launch a virtual summer Kings and Queens Rise co-ed youth NBA2K league and in person golf trainings in partnership with Build.Black., and support the Black Child Legacy Campaign’s Healing the Hood youth violence prevention program.

First Tee of Greater Sacramento and the Cameron Champ Foundation will support youth and coaches from across the eight Sacramento neighborhoods.

“We are very excited to be a part of the Kings and Queens Rise program, and to help make an impact in the lives of the young people in our community,” said Angie Dixon, executive director of First Tee of Greater Sacramento. “First Tee gives kids access to golf who may have never had an interest or ability, and provides a space that makes them feel comfortable as they learn and grow. In the process, they began learning life skills and building their inner-strength, confidence and resilience.”

Additionally, youth participants and coaches will have the opportunity to participate in a golf clinic with the Cameron Champ Foundation in August, focused on building new skills and acknowledging the rich history and missed opportunities of the sport of golf and Black youth and other youth of color participants. Michael Craft of OneSwing Academy will serve as the golf league commissioner and provide additional curriculum and opportunities for youth participants.

The first and second seasons of the Kings and Queens Rise league saw a 100 percent retention rate amongst participating youth. To learn more about the first season of Kings and Queens Rise, see the 2018 impact report here, and for a video recap, click here. For a video recap of the second season, click here.

For details about the third season of Kings and Queens Rise, visit the Black Child Legacy Campaign web site or the My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento web page.

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