By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
After being put on hold in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sacramento Kings were able to resume their engagement with the community by hosting the “Eat Like a King” holiday dinner at Golden 1 Center on December 6th.
The event was a collaboration between the Kings, Raley’s Supermarkets, and the team’s affiliate G-League team Stockton Kings. The participants fed over 250 local youth and families from underserved areas of Sacramento.
The players from both sports organizations had discussions with the youth, signed autographs, took selfies, played Family Feud and Pictionary as well as other games. The event included cookie decorating, a music disc jockey, and photo booth.
“We just want to uplift the community during the holiday time, bring people together, and spread out holiday cheer,” said the Kings’ John Rinehart, president of Business Operations. “This is great to have the players involved again and interact with the community in ways they love to do.”
The holiday-themed feast was part of the Sacramento Kings’ 20th Annual “Season of Doing Good” presented by Raley’s.
“It’s always great to get out and interact with the community. They say it’s giving back but I don’t look at it like that. This is something that I feel like we are obligated to do,” Kings forward Chimezie Metu told The OBSERVER. “It’s good to let them know our energy. We’re human just like they are.”
The Kings were inactive last season when the coronavirus stalled events across the NBA. The team and Raley’s actually started their benevolence by donating and distributing 260 turkeys to members of the community at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento before Thanksgiving.
A drive-thru turkey giveaway alongside the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Kings rookie Davion Mitchell and center Richaun Holmes handed out turkeys, sides, swag and prizes.
On Dec. 7, the Kings and Raley’s also partnered with Mattress Firm to bring holiday cheer to local senior housing, donating Christmas trees, decorations and pillows.
The Kings and Raley’s also teamed up to treat the Alder Grove Housing Community to “Shop Like a King,” a secret Santa event. Families received gift cards and bags of nonperishable food, among other surprises.
All Season of Doing Good event benefactors and audiences are predetermined and selected in collaboration with Raley’s, local nonprofit partners and community organizations.
“As our community continues to reunite safely, we are excited to bring families together through festive events and help brighten spirits,” stated Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis. “The Season of Doing Good is focused on bringing joy into homes and hearts, and we look forward to helping to restore the magic of the holidays this year.”
For more information on the Sacramento Kings Foundation and the Season of Doing Good, visit Kings.com/Community.