The National Basketball Association might still be in a lockout, but the Sacramento region is set to have a celebrity basketball tournament Nov 14. where eight teams representing Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Elk Grove, Roseville, West Sacramento, Rocklin, Citrus Heights and Sacramento are participating for a fundraising event.
The Jumpstart 21 Hoops and Alley Oops Regional Celebrity Basketball Tournament is a three-on-three half-court basketball tournament fundraising event held by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (SACC).
The proceeds will benefit Jumpstart 21, a workforce development and internship placement program by the SACC for young adults recently out of the foster care system, said SACC Director of Events and Foundation Matthew Sumida.
The teams will be captained by an elected official from each of the cities and coached by a graduate of the program. Sumida said that the 12-week training program provides the young adults with basic employment skills, and once training is completed, the graduates are provided internship placement within the Sacramento region.
"This program will help raise funds for those internships," Sumida said,"and it’s a great way for the former foster kids to get involved and to interact with high-level community leaders."
The captains for each of the teams are required to recruit their own players, Sumida said, where two have to be female, and one has to be a media person. During the game, a female player is required to be on the court at all times. Also, a member of the team should be a representative of the team’s official sponsor. It is not necessary for the teammates to be residents of the city their team represents, except for the team captain.
He said that some of the players have former professional basketball experience, including Danielle Viglione, a former Sacramento Monarch, who is playing for the city of Sacramento team.
Marcos Breton of The Sacramento Bee will be the master of ceremonies.
Sumida said that it would have been ideal to have Mayor Kevin Johnson included in the event, but he was not available.
The tournament will also have its own version of the Royal Court Dancers – the Jumpstart 21 Dancers – who will be trained by the Sacramento Kings Royal Court Dancers. The dancers are event sponsors and public officials, said Six Degreez President Sharon Gerber, the official event planner of the tournament.
There will be a five-minute warmup time before each of the games. Two fifteen-minute half-court matches will play simultaneously, and the teams will have one 30 second time-out.
"We are planning to have this as an annual event, and each year the trophy will be passed on to the next winner. " Sumida said. "It’s a fun event that we came up with to help raise money and also to find out who the best basketball team in the region is."
Hear an explanation of how the tournament will work below:
The event runs from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Registration starts at 3:00 p.m.
The event will be held at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation, 9040 High Tech Court in Elk Grove Tickets can be purchased here.
What the team captains have to say:
Citrus Heights Crush
Coach: Nicole Miller
Captain: Mayor Jeannie Bruins
"I am looking forward to (a) faceoff with West Sacramento – a challenge I put out to Oscar Villegas," Citrus Heights Mayor Jeannie Bruins said. "We’re going to crush them because we are the Citrus Heights Crush."
She said that her team has practiced once, and the players are ready. Unfortunately, Bruins said, she will not be playing and will stay on the sidelines. She said that she will be the No. 1 cheerleader for the team.
"It is just fabulous what they do," Bruins said of the Jumpstart 21 program.
Rancho Cordova Magic Makers
Coach: Angela Montes
Captain: Councilwoman Linda Budge
"We have four dedicated basketball fans in our team, and we have been watching the Sacramento Kings for a long time, and hopefully it rubbed off," said Rancho Cordova City Councilwoman Linda Budge.
Budge said that in order for them to win in this competition, they will have to play like a team. She said that she will make sure that her teammates make some assists.
The team has not had the chance to practice together, but she said the players have practiced separately, with some of them practicing basketball with their kids.
"We are doing this because we are basketball fans, but most of all because it is for a good cause," Budge said."We will be playing for them."
Sacramento Donkey Fong
Coach: Roland Foley III
Captain: City Councilman Rob Fong
City Councilman Jay Schenirer
State Assemblyman Roger Dickinson
"We don’t care who we meet in the finals, we just know we are going to win," Sacramento City Councilman Rob Fong said.
He said that they enjoy being the favorite team to win, even though the other teams might not like it. He has not talked with Mayor Kevin Johnson to get some basketball tips, but Fong said he will definitely do so.
"Most of us are rooted to the earth and won’t be doing any jumping at all," said Fong, who also said that this should not be a problem. The team practiced Sunday.
"It is for a great cause, and we are willing to take great physical risk to support it," Fong said. "I’m just hoping that when all is said and done, none of us will be heading to the emergency room.”
West Sacramento Brick Layers
Coach: Reyan Reyes
Captain: City Councilman Oscar E. Villegas
"We don’t care who we face off," West Sacramento City Councilman Oscar Villegas said. "Bring it!"
Villegas said that a friendly game is always good for the soul. His team has practiced, and he said that it is going well.
"I would bet somebody else’s paycheck that we would win," he added. "I can dunk if they lower the hoop to 7 feet,"
Coach: April Redricks
Captain: Mayor Andy Morin
"I would like to go against Rancho Cordova in the final match, because they are our friendly neighbors, and if we can beat them, we can have some serious bragging rights," said Folsom Mayor Andy Morin.
"I want to be as competitive as possible, but I am also looking forward to meeting with old friends in a friendly, competitive setting," he added.
Morin said that his team is set to meet up this week for practice, and he hopes that his team will be in good condition for the tournament.
Rocklin Rim Rattlers
Coach: Leslie Lee Jr.
Captain: City Councilman Scott Yuill
"I am looking forward most to helping supporting the Jumpstart 21 program and having fun doing it with the regional flair," said Rocklin City Councilman Scott Yuill.
He said jokingly that his team has practiced extensively through email and is well-prepared for the tournament.
"I am a much better golfer than a basketball player, and I am a horrible golfer," Yuill said."I’d like to go head-on with Rob Fong because he usually beats me in golf.”
"In Rocklin, we are very humble and polite, and I think it will be out of character to point out our sheer athletic superiority," he added.
Elk Grove Force
Coach: Naomi Mendez
Captain: Mayor Steve Detrick
Alex Van Dyke
"My team, of course," Elk Grove Mayor Steve Detrick said when asked who will win. "We are the team to look out for."
He said that he is a recreational basketball player, but his team has not had the chance to practice yet.
"I put my best into everything I do, and hopefully our team can come up on top," he added.
"I think it’s great that we are taking the cities of Sacramento and participating in such (an) event for a common goal," Detrick said. “The Sacramento region has no boundaries when it comes to fulfilling such goals."
Coach: Olajuwon Curtis
Captain: City Councilman Tim Herman
"We did not snag any former Monarch or King, but we will try to be competitive and have a lot of fun," City Councilman Tim Herman said.
Herman said that his team has already practiced once and will be practicing once more before the game. His players are happy and proud to represent Roseville and Placer County, he added.
"Most of us are under-the-basket kind of players. Unless they lower the hoop, I do not think we will be doing any dunks," Herman said.
"It’s for a great cause, and to raise awareness and money for the Jumpstart 21 is a victory for all of us," Herman said.