By OBSERVER Newsroom

The fifth season of the Kings and Queens Rise Coed Youth Sports and Mentoring League launches June 25.

Part of the Sacramento Kings Jr. Kings program, Kings and Queens Rise provides young people opportunities to engage in intercommunity activities, which helps prevent and interrupt violence. The program is a caring and safe environment where mentors teach community building and sportsmanship. It is a partnership among the Sacramento Kings and the Center at Sierra Health Foundation’s Build.Black. Coalition, the Black Child Legacy Campaign and My Brother’s Keeper Sacramento.

Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation, said the program is among an expanding local network of community-led violence prevention initiatives “that foster pride in themselves and their communities.”

Kings Chief Operating Officer Matina Kolokotronis said the team launched the program out of a sense of collective responsibility to make safe and supportive environments for youth.

“Given the latest tragedies caused by gun violence and the compounded trauma, we know this work is more important than ever,” she said. 

The eight-week basketball season runs June 25-Aug. 13. Eight teams of fourth- through 10th-graders will participate from the following neighborhoods: Arden Arcade, Del Paso Heights-North Sacramento, Foothill Farms-North Highlands, Fruitridge-Stockton, Marina Vista, Meadowview, Oak Park and Valley Hi. Games and practices are in community locations throughout north and south Sacramento. The season culminates with a tournament hosted by the Kings.

Kings and Queens Rise this year includes a coed dance team of up to 30, as well as golf clinics and a mobile golf simulator for youth participants and coaches. To register a youth participant, fill out the Kings and Queens Rise application at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfC-8dqjTviAy3FFvPUdY5KKLXPuhXzhXzwyAXkF0jV4z7dtg/viewform. For details about the upcoming season, visit the Black Child Legacy Campaign website at https://blackchildlegacy.org/registration-is-open-for-kings-and-queens-rise-basketball/.