Kings and Bucks to Participate in Basketball Games at Prisons

The teams will host events organized by the Represent Justice Campaign to advance narratives of hope and redemption in justice reform.
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The Kings and Bucks will be the first NBA teams to participate in a series of basketball games at correctional facilities organized by the Represent Justice Campaign, Sacramento announced Thursday.

In the campaign's Play for Justice initiative, the players will serve as honorary captains during an hour-long basketball game with NBA alumni, coaches and incarcerated individuals. The games will follow facilitated conversations with NBA players and coaches, incarcerated people and members of the Represent Justice Campaign, who are themselves formerly incarcerated.

"The REPRESENT JUSTICE Campaign organized the Play for Justice initiative to advance the goals of uplifting narratives of hope and redemption, in order to break down stigmas associated with individuals—disproportionately people of color and the poor—who are impacted by the criminal justice system," the Kings said in a statement.

According to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, the Kings will host the first Play for Justice event at a renovated outdoor court at an undisclosed Northern California prison on Thursday night. The Bucks will reportedly host an event later in December before the two teams put on an event together in Milwaukee on Feb. 10, 2020.

"We're proud to be the first participant in the Play for Justice initiative, which is shining a bright light on the unique issues facing incarcerated people in communities around the country," Vivek Ranadivé, chairman, CEO and governor of the Kings, told The Undefeated. "Sports franchises have a unique opportunity to bring about positive change, which is why in the past year, the Kings and the Bucks brought together leaders from across two cities to share best practices and find new solutions to social injustices. This collaboration with Represent Justice is another example of how we can use our platforms for good."

Kings forward Trevor Ariza and player development coach Rico Hines are expected to participate in the roundtable conversation at Thursday's event and serve as honorary captains during the game. Sacramento coach Luke Walton is expected to play, according to The Undefeated.

Other NBA and WNBA teams are expected to participate in the initiative. Those teams will be announced in late December and the beginning of 2020.