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Kings, Bucks to participate in prison basketball games

Kings, Bucks

The Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks are taking steps to highlight some of the issues that incarcerated individuals are currently facing in the United States.

According to a report from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the two organizations will be the first NBA teams to participate in basketball games at correctional facilities organized by the Represent Justice Campaign. Other teams could choose to participate in the future.

Via The Undefeated:

Starting this month, NBA players and coaches will serve as honorary coaches in the campaign’s Play For Justice initiative, which will also include facilitated conversations with incarcerated individuals.

The Kings will host the first Play For Justice event at a renovated outdoor court on Thursday evening at an undisclosed prison in Northern California. The Bucks will host an event later this month and together, the Bucks and Kings will host an event in Milwaukee on February 10. Further participation from other NBA teams is expected to be announced in 2020. The campaign’s goal is to highlight stories of hope and redemption, as well as break down stigmas associated with individuals — primarily people of color and the poor — impacted by the criminal justice system.

Kings CEO Vivek Ranadivé says he’s proud to have his team serving for this cause:

“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,” Ranadivé said in an official statement, via The Undefeated.

The Kings struggled through the early stages of this season, but they’ve won three straight games, including Wednesday night’s come-from-behind victory the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bucks, on the other hand, are playing very well. In fact, Milwaukee is currently riding the wave of a 16-game winning streak.