The Kings are partnering with the Build. Black. Coalition and the Black Child Legacy Campaign to launch a youth summer basketball league that will begin June 9.
The 16-team league will feature two co-ed teams of seventh and eighth graders and ninth and 10th graders from eight Sacramento neighborhoods – Arden Arcade, Del Paso Heights/North Sacramento, Foothill Farms/North Highlands, Fruitridge/Stockton, Marina Vista, Meadowview, Oak Park and Valley Hi.
"Sport has the power to create profound change, extending beyond the court to impact fans, families, communities and institutions," said Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive. "Our hope is that this league will encourage an open dialogue to help our city grow stronger together."
The eight-week season will begin with a jamboree at Burbank High School with tournaments hosted in a different neighborhood each Saturday. A daylong tournament July 28 at Golden 1 Center caps the season.
Practices will also be used to hold workshops to address topics such as conflict resolution, mental health and responsible use of social media.
The Kings partnered with local groups like the Build. Black. Coalition and Black Lives Matter Sacramento to work to bring about change in the black community after protests over the death of Stephon Clark descended on Golden 1 Center. Demonstrators prevented fans from attending two games.
Clark, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed on March 23 by Sacramento police officers, who were responding to neighbor's report of a man breaking car windows.
The Kings held a youth forum on March 30 in south Sacramento and will host another on July 2 prior to the California Classic, the Kings' four-team summer league in Sacramento.