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Kings and Queens Rise 2024: Season Seven

Kings and Queens Rise (KQR) co-ed youth sports and mentoring league seeks to prevent violence by providing an opportunity for Sacramento’s young people through inter-community sports activities. The league provides a caring, productive environment with community building, sportsmanship, and resources for health and safety. This eight-week initiative of the Black Child Legacy Campaign will run from June 22 through August 24 and feature 24 teams composed of nearly 400 youth from 4th through 11th grades.

“Every Thursday we get to have a practice and a game every Saturday—that brings consistency,” said KQR League Commissioner Kenneth Duncan. “That’s what our [children] need: consistency, structure and love. And I think that’s what this league provides.”

Kings and Queens Rise was created in response to the tragic killing of Stephon Clark in 2018, to commemorate his life while creating safe spaces for youth. The league brings together youth from eight neighborhoods in Sacramento—Arden Arcade, Del Paso Heights-North Sacramento, Foothill Farms-North Highlands, Fruitridge-Stockton, Marina Vista, Meadowview, Oak Park and Valley Hi—to foster friendships and unity. Black Child Legacy Campaign community partners in each neighborhood provide safe spaces for training and season games, and coaches are trained, trusted adults from these partner organizations. Last year, KQR saw 24 teams with 280 players throughout these Sacramento neighborhoods.

“These youth, they’ve got a place where they can grow,” said Lorenzo Washington, KQR coach for Arden Arcade. “A nice healthy environment where, if needed, they could express their emotions and get away from any distractions that might be outside that might be detrimental to their health.”

Over nearly 200 games, players will develop invaluable skills of teamwork, conflict resolution and communication. In past seasons, youth participants shared that KQR helped them feel safe and valued, build new friendships, minimize stress, learn new life skills, receive mentorship from their coaches, and have fun.

Anna W., a KQR parent from Marina Vista, shared, “[Kings and Queens Rise] is very community driven, and they also like to have all of the siblings and family members involved. I do appreciate that.”

KQR is hosted in partnership with the Sacramento Kings, Sierra Health Foundation, My Brother’s Keeper and Kaiser Permanente. Watch this video to learn more about Kings and Queens Rise.

Pictured:  Participants in Kings and Queens Rise playing basketball.