By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist

Mardeio Cannon
Mardeio Cannon

As we approach the end of 2022 and look forward to 2023, we all have a lot to be thankful for if you are alive and in reasonably good health! We all have endured and survived the COVID-19 pandemic (which is NOT over) and all of us have overcome challenges that face us whether it be family, finances or in some cases loss of a loved one or friend.

Now, as 2023 awaits us, we all will face challenges and opportunities in the next year. I am very excited that The OBSERVER will celebrate its 60th anniversary. This is a milestone celebration for me because I met OBSERVER founder and Publisher Dr. William H. Lee 50 years ago and my association with The OBSERVER started by selling ads after getting off work from a full-time job. After selling ads for The OBSERVER’s 10th anniversary issue, I became a circulation distributor. I would deliver the paper weekly and go to Del Paso Heights, Rancho Cordova, North Highlands and South Sac, and I had young boys go into the neighborhoods to sell the paper. I am so proud of these young men who grew up to be outstanding citizens. Brother 2 Brother co-founder Larry Craig-Arriba is one of my OBSERVER success stories.

So, this is a 50-year celebration for me.

As the city of Sacramento was looking to expand opportunities for its citizens in sports, Dr. Lee sent me to a meeting at the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce attended by Gregg Lukenbill, a successful developer. When a roundtable question about opportunities came to me, I suggested that we get a professional basketball team.

When I made that suggestion, Lukenbill may already have been in negotiations to purchase the Kansas City Kings and move the team to Sacramento. All I know is that I made the suggestion at the meeting and Sacramento now has a major professional sports franchise that is entrenched in this community!

Five Things I Want To See Happen In 2023

  • The Kings end the NBA season with the Western Conference’s No. 6 seed and break their 16-year playoff drought!
  • Both De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis earn spots on the Western Conference All-Star team this year.
  • Mike Brown wins the NBA’s Coach of the Year award.
  • Sacramento Republic FC gets its whale ($250 million franchise fee) and gains entrance in MLS, and Sacramento starts construction of the Railyards stadium.
  • Vivek Ranadive announces he will purchase a struggling WNBA franchise and move it to Sacramento!

Happy New Year to all. Be safe and be blessed!