Sacramento Kings

Kings organization has All-Stars you won’t see in box scores. Here’s why

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The Kings have had an effect on the NBA All-Star Game for several years. However, those who only read box scores likely have not noticed.

For the 12th consecutive year, the Kings organization will play a huge part in the presentation of the league’s midseason showcase. The team’s entertainment department will work behind the scenes and in the forefront to help the NBA make the weekend a fun event.

The Kings are sending four members of the group to Charlotte, North Carolina, this weekend.

“For us to be recognized by the league, it’s the highest honor we can get in our professions,” said Scott Freshour, the Kings’ director of entertainment who is also the on-court emcee. “Being able to represent the Sacramento Kings on a microphone is as thrilling as being a basketball player who makes the All-Star team.”

Freshour, who will work his seventh All-Star Weekend, is grateful the league has taken notice and continually honors the group.

“The fact that they keep coming back to the Sacramento Kings to work their All-Star events shows we’re one of the best arena experiences in the NBA,” he said.

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These selections are nothing new for Maurice Brazelton. The Kings’ senior director of entertainment is going for the 14th time. Brazelton, known around Golden 1 Center as Mo, is in charge of directing all aspects of the in-game experience. Among his numerous duties are coordinating video, music and live performance groups.

Also going to Charlotte are Brian Hilton, director of the video control room, and Slamson, the team’s mascot.

Sending four representatives to an All-Star Weekend is quite an honor, considering the NBA selects eight hosts and mascots, and six or seven directors and video board specialists, according to Brazelton.

One thing the group does for each game is find videos to play during the opposing team’s introductions. Freshour said they try to find content that’s silly yet relevant.

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Kings senior director of entertainment Maurice Brazelton works Friday night’s game against the Miami Heat at Golden 1 Center. He has been with the Kings 19 years and is about to make his 14th All-Star appearance. José Luis Villegas jvillegas@sacbee.com

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Scott Freshour, Kings director of entertainment, directs the crowd at the beginning of the fourth quarter in Friday nights NBA basketball game between the Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat on Feb. 8, 2019 at the Golden 1 Center. Jose Luis Villegas jvillegas@sacbee.com

“Our goal is to make sure that it’s such a ridiculous song, it’s impossible for them to feel cool chest-bumping to it during the introductions,” Freshour said.

One of the most memorable videos they did this season was on Dec. 14, when Golden State was in town. A few days before the game, Warriors guard Stephen Curry made remarks questioning moon landings. When the Warriors were announced that night, the Kings played a video of the moon landing on the huge screen suspended over the floor. Curry could be seen laughing as the video played.

“We try to stay topical every day and use what’s in the news that ties to the team,” Brazelton said.

Being able to put on a memorable show is the best part of the job for the group.

“To be able to create impressions that last with fans for life, like military moments and funny contests that we do,” Brazelton said.

Because all three men are local, they say it helps them to put on an experience that resonates with Sacramento-area fans.

“It gives us a sense of who the Sacramento community is, who the fans are, and it gives us a great understanding on how to put together a show that we our community will enjoy,” Freshour said.

Here’s a brief look at the entertainment team members who will represent the Kings at All-Star Weekend:

Maurice Brazelton

Title: Senior director of entertainment

Years with the Kings: 19

All-Star appearances: 14

Daily duties: Responsible for planning all in-game entertainment for Kings home games, including (but not limited to) video, music, live performance groups, etc.

All-Star duties: Associate producer for the weekend.

Quote: “I’ve been blessed to be with these guys for so long. It’s been pretty cool, a good ride.”

Scott Freshour

Title: Director of entertainment and on-court emcee

Years with the Kings: 15

All-Star appearances: 7

Daily duties: Assists with planning all in-game entertainment and serves as host.

All-Star duties: Hosting festivities throughout the weekend.

Quote: “For me, this is my dream job,” said Freshour, who grew up in Redding. “I chose to move to Sacramento for college so I could go to Kings games in my spare time. It just so happens I was able to turn a childhood dream into a full-time job.”

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Brian Hilton has been the Kings’ video control room director for 13 years. He will be going to NBA All-Star Weekend for the second time. Noel Harris nharris@sacbee.com

Brian Hilton

Title: Video control room director

Years with the Kings: 13

All-Star appearances: 2

Daily duties: Responsible for directing the in-arena broadcast for Kings games and Golden 1 Center events, as well as managing the video library.

All-Star duties: Video director for activities at Bojangles Coliseum, including the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Quote: “I’m from Sacramento. I went away to film school but realized I wanted to work in sports. ... To be able to work in your childhood town and for the team you grew up watching and loving, it’s pretty special.”

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Sacramento Kings mascot Slamson waves the team’s flag before the start of a game against the Orlando Magic in January. Jose Luis Villegas jvillegas@sacbee.com

Slamson

Title: Mascot

Years with the Kings: 16

All-Star appearances: 5

Daily duties: Serves as the face of the Kings, acting as a team ambassador at community events and entertaining fans at games.

All-Star duties: Participating in various events.

Fact: Slamson was one of eight mascots selected for All-Star Weekend. The success has led the organization to add a new mascot for their G League team. The Stockton Kings’ mascot is a lion named Dunkson.

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Noel Harris is a sports reporter for The Sacramento Bee, with a focus on the Kings. He’s been in professional journalism for more than 18 years. His roles have included sports editor at The Modesto Bee and news editor at two smaller California newspapers, as well as online producer and copy editor.


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