NBA Legend Isiah Thomas to Join Kings and Build. Black. for California Classic Youth Forum

Following the March Youth Voices Forum, Over 200 Student Athletes from the Kings and Queens Rise League to Participate in Writing Workshop, Panel Discussion – Forum Continues Community Dialogue, Fosters Conversations About Life Skills with Youth

On Monday, July 2, the Sacramento Kings Foundation and Kings and Queens Rise League (The League) will host the California Classic Youth Forum. Following the successful Kings and Queens Rise: A Youth Voices Forum for Healing in March, over 200 students from eight Sacramento-area neighborhoods participating in The League will join NBA Hall of Famer and broadcaster Isiah Thomas ahead of the California Classic tournament for a writing workshop and panel discussion designed to help participants grow as individuals and improve their life skills. 

“Isiah has long championed that sports can be an agent of change and recognizes the opportunity we have to help create positive outcomes for communities,” said Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “It is a privilege to host Isiah in Sacramento for the California Classic, and we’re honored to have him speak at the youth forum for our Kings and Queens Rise athletes.”

“I am honored to participate in the California Classic Youth Forum. Sports have a way of bringing people together and breaking down barriers,” said Isiah Thomas, founder of Mary’s Court Foundation. “The Sacramento Kings and Build. Black. are providing an opportunity for these young people to get to know each other on and off the court. I am proud to work alongside these leaders to help our young people pursue opportunities in academics, sports, and life.”

Vice President of Kings Academy and Professional Development Galen Duncan and Greater Sacramento Urban League Chief Executive Officer Cassandra Jennings will join Pastor Les Simmons and Isiah Thomas for a panel discussion to encourage participants to share personal stories and engage in productive dialogue, with the goal of helping students make tough decisions, stay positive and motivated and build stronger communities. Following the forum, the students will have the opportunity to see the NBA’s future stars in action at the double-header opening games of the California Classic.

Inspired by his mother’s work to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and families, Isiah Thomas founded the Mary’s Court Foundation in her honor to support the health, safety, and personal achievement of Chicago’s youth and youth around the country. The Mary’s Court Foundation’s Peace Game – most recently held in New York and annual tournament in Chicago – is designed to build relationships and respect on and off the court, while bringing communities together. 

Launched in the wake of the Stephon Clark protests, the Kings created a multi-year partnership with the Build. Black. Coalition to support the education of young people and to provide the workforce preparation and economic development efforts needed to create profound community change. Working alongside the Black Child Legacy Campaign, The League provides an opportunity for young people to engage in sports, helping build community, encourage good sportsmanship and provide resources for health and safety. The League, which launched earlier this month, has 16 co-ed teams of over 200 middle and high school students and culminates with championship games at Golden 1 Center on July 28.

The Sacramento Kings recently announced a multi-year scholarship program with the Build. Black. Coalition to be funded by mining cryptocurrency in the team’s state-of-the-art data center at Golden 1 Center.

Additional partnership elements will be announced throughout the 2018-19 season.

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