Nuggets set to hold scrimmage at Gateway High School

School served as gathering place in wake of Aurora theater shooting
by Aaron Lopez

Nearly three months ago, Gateway High School served as a gathering place for families as they sought information in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting.

On Wednesday night, the Gateway community will come together again as special guests of the Denver Nuggets.

As a way to pay tribute to those affected by the July 20 theater tragedy, the Nuggets will hold their annual team scrimmage at Gateway High School for students, faculty and staff.

“It’s still a very eerie thing for me to think about,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “It’s going to take time to get over. Hopefully, we’ll have a good time and the fans will have a good time. It’s paying our respects to what happened, and hopefully we can all help each other get through it.”

Karl, along with many Nuggets players and coaches, were in Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League when a gunman opened fire at the Century 16 Theater, killing 14 people and wounding dozens of others on July 20.

News of the tragedy hit close to home for the Nuggets, who wore black armbands in honor of the victims during their summer league game later that day.

“They definitely have our support,” Nuggets center Kosta Koufos said. “You heard stories about boyfriends taking bullets for their girlfriends. They’re definitely the true heroes. They were very courageous.”

Among those killed was former Altitude Sports & Entertainment intern Jessica Redfield Ghawi.

Inspired by Ghawi’s effort to collect hockey equipment for families who lost the possessions in the Colorado wildfires, Kroenke Sports Enterprises held a sports equipment drive attended by several Nuggets players on Sept. 8. More than 25,000 pieces of equipment were collected, along with $11,000 in cash donations and $30,000 for a scholarship fund in Ghawi’s name.