The Nuggets held an exclusive scrimmage for the students, faculty and staff of Gateway High School in Aurora, Co. on Wednesday night. More than 60 students were at the theater on the day of the July shooting that left 12 people dead and nearly 60 injured; two Gateway students were shot. Gateway principal Bill Hedges expressed his gratitude to the team:
“It’s been another great example of the community support we’ve had,” said Hedges. “I got a little emotional at the beginning of the game because our kids and our staff have been through so much…I think you’ve made 1,500 lifelong Nuggets fans here tonight.”
And the Nuggets were "honored to be part of the ongoing healing process," according to the team's press release:
"We always want to be an important part of the community because we need the community to support us," Denver coach George Karl said. "This group of guys has a consciousness to their character and giving back. Their awareness of what’s going on outside the game of basketball is at a pretty high level."
The closed-off nature of the event wasn't viewed in a positive light by all, however. CBS Sports' Matt Moore said:
"What the Nuggets did is not going to heal anything. It's not going to take away what that community went through. The team has no obligation to dedicate that kind of attention to the school. A scrimmage at a bigger arena would draw crowds and give a bigger opportunity to sell merchandise. But the Nuggets' decision is a reminder that teams can be a part of the communities they live in, even if their operations are always driven by business."