Before NBA summer teams tip off at Golden 1 Center next week for the California Classic, the Sacramento Kings Foundation will hold a forum Monday afternoon for local youth, in partnership with NBA legend Isiah Thomas and the Build. Black. Coalition.
More than 200 students from the Sacramento area are expected to participate in the forum, which will include a writing workshop and discussion with Thomas, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, according to a news release.
Those 200-plus middle and high school students are members of the Kings and Queens Rise League, which launched earlier in June.
"I am proud to work alongside these leaders to help our young people pursue opportunities in academics, sports, and life," Thomas said in a statement.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
Thomas' NBA playing career spanned from 1981-94, the entirety of which he played at point guard for the Detroit Pistons. Thomas led the "Bad Boys" to back-to-back championships in 1989 and '90. He has also served as coach, in front office positions and as a TV commentator since 2000.
The forum is a part of the Kings' partnership with the Build. Black. Coalition, which was announced in late March, days after activists blocked access to Kings home games while protesting the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark.
A related scholarship program between the team and the coalition will be funded by cryptocurrency mining operations at Golden 1 Center's data center, the team announced Thursday.
The event begins Monday afternoon, followed by a summer-league doubleheader: Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors at 6 p.m., followed by Los Angeles Lakers vs. Kings at 8 p.m. More info on the summer tournament and its schedule can be found here.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Les Simmons, a local pastor.