You don’t have to search long to find someone affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. While their family members are safe, the natural disaster destroying large portions of Texas has hit home for Sacramento Kings rookies and Houston natives, De’Aaron Fox and Justin Jackson.
“To see highways that I know both of us have drove a ton of times, to see those under water and to see houses and streets that we’ve been around growing up all the time, to see those under water, it’s pretty unbelievable,” Jackson told reporters Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at Golden 1 Center.
Fox and Jackson played AAU ball together in the Houston area. They know each other well, which has been a comfort as they watch the devastation that is unfolding in their hometown, nearly 2000 miles away.
“It’s good just having someone around that’s from the same area kind of going through the same things as you,” Fox said. “(The disaster) is not a good thing, but it’s good that we’re together and we’re able to talk about it.”
According to Fox, he has been in contact with his former high school coach in the Houston area and the two are planning a charity basketball game in the area to help with the relief efforts. The details are still being hashed out, but the hope is to draw in professional players from the Houston area to a location sometime in September.
In support of their young players, the Sacramento Kings reallocated their ticket sales staff on Tuesday, converting the group into a Red Cross call center. The sales team went through lists of season ticket holders and contacts trying to raise funds for the relief effort and Kings fans responded with nearly $25,000 in donations.
According to the Kings’ new president of business operations, John Rinehart, the team has matched the fans donations and was able to gather another $50,000 in aid from their business partners for a total of $100,000 in just over 24 hours.
“It’s very important to give back to our communities and it’s something that our ownership group has instilled in us,” Rinehart said. “It’s also important to include those communities that our players are from. We don’t want to forget them and we want to support them.”
Sacramento will host the Houston Rockets Oct. 18 at Golden 1 Center for opening night. They have already pledged the proceeds of the team’s 50/50 raffle to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and plan on giving fans other avenues of donating to the relief effort.
The Kings have also set up a site through ticketmaster to help raise donations for the relief efforts.