Sacramento Kings

Kings to welcome a legend back to Sacramento to help tip off California Classic

Watch Kings legend Chris Webber gives keynote speech at Sac State

Chris Webber came to Sacramento State on Monday to give a keynote speech as part of Student Academic Success Day. Hundreds gathered in the university’s student union to hear Webber’s life story and motivational advice.
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Chris Webber came to Sacramento State on Monday to give a keynote speech as part of Student Academic Success Day. Hundreds gathered in the university’s student union to hear Webber’s life story and motivational advice.

When the Kings launch their summer league event next week, a beloved former player will be on hand to help tip things off.

The second annual California Classic begins Monday at Golden 1 Center. The event features six games between the Kings, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in a showcase of rookies, sophomores and players shooting to make NBA and G League rosters.

Before the players take the court, the Kings will host a career mentoring session with youth associated with the Build.Black. Coalition and players from the Kings and Queens Rise Co-Ed Basketball League. The kids will have a chance to get advice from Chris Webber, who spent six-plus seasons in Sacramento.

“The Kings are the model for how sports teams can be agents for change in their communities and I’m thrilled to be a part of this productive, inspiring and exciting day,” Webber said in a statement released by the team. “As a father, I know how important it is that we give our youth the resources and confidence to achieve their dreams. That’s why I’m eager to help these young people plan their careers and futures during the California Classic tournament.”

Webber spent six-plus seasons in Sacramento, averaging 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 377 games. He was a Hall of Fame finalist this year and had his No. 4 jersey retired by the Kings in 2009, a year after Webber retired from the NBA.

Along with the basketball games, there will be live music from Grammy-winning artist T-Pain and international pop star Jay Sean. July 3 is a family-themed day which will include performances from local artists. Also, the Kings will also announce some winners of the Team Up For Change scholarship funding designed to benefit local youth pursuing advanced training in law enforcement and higher education.

An estimated 50,000 people attended the inaugural event last July.

“Last year proved to be a unique experience, with an emphasis on technology, entertainment, community and, of course, basketball,” Vivek Ranadive, Kings owner and chairman, said in a statement when the team announced in April it would bring the California Classic back for a second year. “We look forward to continuing to showcase the best Sacramento has to offer.”

The California Classic runs July 1-3 at Golden 1 Center. For more information, visit Kings.com/CAClassic.

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Sacramento Kings

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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