As part of the franchise’s “In This Together” initiative to help support the city of Sacramento during the coronavirus pandemic, the Kings held a virtual graduation party Thursday for the Class of 2020.
The event, which is available to view online, was hosted by the Kings in-arena emcee Katerina Kontouris and featured photos and video montages submitted by graduates and their families. Multiple members of the organization popped in to offer their congratulations, including Vivek Ranadivé, Vlade Divac, Doug Christie, Luke Walton, Bobby Jackson, Lindsey Harding, Rico Hines, Harry Giles, Richaun Holmes, and Kyle Guy.
Other Sacramento-area luminaries like Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Hasan Minhaj took part in the event; the Kings also brought in sports personalities from the NBA and other leagues as well as celebrities from the entertainment world to help honor the graduates.
Ranadivé started things off with a pseudo-commencement address in which he offered a great deal of optimism for what the Class of 2020 can hope to achieve as the leaders of the coming generation:
Congratulations to the Class of 2020, what an amazing accomplishment. You should be thankful to your teachers, grateful to your parents, but most of all proud of this incredible accomplishment.... There has never been a better time to be a graduate than today, so you should consider yourself very fortunate because you are graduating at at time when the world is taking off and amazing, amazing things are going to happen. My friend Steve [Jobs] used to say, ‘Let’s put a dent in the universe’, and of course with Apple he did. So what I expect from all of you is to put a giant, giant dent in the universe. Congratulations.
In addition to the party, the Kings will be displaying congratulatory messages at the Grand Entrance of the Golden 1 Center through June 30.
What we’ve learned through the pandemic is that graduations, like so many other events, aren’t just meant to celebrate the individuals involved — they recognize families and friends who all played a part in the process. Kudos to the Kings for helping to bring a communal feel to the Class of 2020’s graduation.