By Erika Rollins
“Together We Can Make a Difference”
With March bringing in the celebration of Harmony Day, MightyMite Sydney Kings’ players actively demonstrated the importance of belonging through various community activities. While practicing and promoting games, Kings’ players invested time to give back to the community and fans. From sharing laughs with Kevin Hart, enjoying action movies with members, to painting murals in honour of Harmony Day, Kings players were busy with this month’s community activities.
This month players traveled to western, northern, and inner west Sydney to make several school appearances. The schools visited included Parramatta, North Parramatta, Pittwater, Manly, Cherrybrook, Marrickville, and Bondi Beach. Players conducted coaching clinics, involving ball skills, shooting and fitness. Players also stressed the importance of a healthy lifestyle through presentations.
Three-time NBA Celebrity All-Star MVP and well-known comedian Kevin Hart surprised the Sydney Kings after a long day of training, joking with players and putting on a one-man comedy show. Along with a humorous pep talk for the upcoming game towards finals, Hart challenged Sydney Kings forward Cody Ellis to a three-point contest. With one hundred push-ups on the line, it was quite the challenge. Listen to Kevin Hart’s pep talk and read more about the Ellis match up here.
MEMBERS MOVIE NIGHT
Thursday, 6th March at 7:00pm an exclusive screening of NON STOP for members and invited guests took place at Event Cinemas. The first 350 members to register received a registration confirmation to attend the movie night. Members, invited guests and Sydney Kings players enjoyed the film starring Liam Neeson, an air marshal who springs into action during a transatlantic flight after receiving a series of text message that put his fellow passengers at risk unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.
VIC’S MEATS SPONSOR EVENT
Vic’s Meats enjoyed a day of activation with the Sydney Kings lion during Vic’s Meat Market Day, which happen every Saturday. www.vicsmeatmarketday.com.au
Harmony Day, 21st March is a day that recognises the people from over 200 countries that make up the Australian community through a day of cultural respect. What does belonging mean to you? Sydney Kings’ showed their support for Harmony Day through various activities including fingerprinting on the City of Sydney mural at the Redfern Community Centre, school presentation at Bondi Public, Sudanese vs. Alexandria pre-game and a mural display on game day. Similar to the mural painted at the Redfern Community Centre, Kings players created their own special Harmony Day mural reading, “Together We Can Make A Difference”. In honour of Harmony Day the mural was hung for fans to mark their fingerprint to represent the importance of belonging.
BASKETBALL ROLLS INTO WESTERN SYDNEY
Sunday, 23rd March when Wheelchair Sports NSW excitedly celebrated the opening of the Wheelchair Basketball Training Centre at Kevin Betts Stadium in Mt. Druitt. During the opening event, people were welcome to come and try a wheelchair basketball session that featured a visit from Sydney Kings’ basketball player Shaun Gleeson. The training centre was designed to develop wheelchair basketball in the Western Sydney region and provide people with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in the sport. Read more about Wheelchair Basketball Training Centre’s opening day here.
By Erika Rollins
"Together We Can Make a Difference”
Not only do the MightyMite Sydney Kings' players see the importance in practicing and promoting their games but also investing time and giving back to the community. Through various community events last month, the Sydney Kings worked together with fans, children, and sponsors to help make a difference.
BE BRAVE AND SHAVE
After a normal day of training, players proudly joined forces with19-year-old Aimee Dowing as she cut off her luscious locks to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. With the help of the Kings’ players and Assistant Coach Tim Hudson, Aimee said goodbye to her locks one by one.
On Sunday’s game 2nd March in front of more than 5000 fans, Aimee revealed her new look explaining that, “it is hard to say goodbye to the hair, it’s been growing since 2008, but I’m grateful to be able to make this choice, which is something you can’t do when you’re sick.”
To read more about this story, donate or participate in the Leukaemia Foundation’s annual event – the World’s Greatest Shave click here.
DEFENCE FORCE - KINGS CUP
Honouring the work of the Australian Defence Force, the MightyMite Sydney Kings’ players visited the Naval Base at Garden Island on the 12th February.
During the visit, players and members of the Navy talked about the annual Defence Force Kings’ Cup game which was played on the 15th February. Along with exchanging words of encouragement and advice, AJ Ogilvy reflects, “seeing what these guys do on a day-to-day basis makes what we do easy, so hopefully that will help us in our games.”
During the 15th of February game the pregame Navy vs. Air Force Kings Cup was played where the Air Force team took the win. To Read full article click here.
MADGEN’S MESSAGE OF HOPE
As part of the Madgen’s Message of Hope Program, the Sydney Kings' players visited the Children's Hospital at Westmead and Randwick a total of four times in February. During the visits, players shared laughs and interacted with patients of the hospital in hopes of lifting their spirits. The program follows through to every home game where each hospital is given 20 tickets for patients and their families with a special visit from Ben Madgen on the night.
25th SEASON LUNCHEON
On Thursday, 27th February, the Sydney Kings' celebrated their 25th season in the NBL during a luncheon with sponsors, Kings Legends, and Invited guests. Kings’ Legends Steve ”Mr. Magic” Carfino was the MC and Damian Keogh was the guest speaker for the day.
The word “community” took on a new meaning when the MightyMite Sydney Kings hosted their annual Super Clinic at Hills Sports Stadium in January. And that was just one of the highlights for the month!
Hills’ local and Junior representative AJ Ogilvy, along with his Sydney Kings teammates, split up into pairs to take the 700-strong crowd of young basketball enthusiasts through a variety of different skill exercises ranging from shooting and ball handling to fitness.
“It’s satisfying to be able to give back through basketball at my local association,” said Ogilvy.
Varying in age from as young as five through to the late teens, the camp participants were split into groups according to their age, then rotated through the various skills stations for 10 minutes at a time.
Read the full story: bit.ly/1eFXOoV
As part of the Madgen’s Message of Hope program, the MightyMite Sydney Kings visited both the Randwick and Westmead Children’s Hospitals a total of 6 times in January.
On Friday 24th January, Youth off the Streets, one of Sydney Kings’ chosen charities, hosted a basketball tournament at the Koch Centre for Youth at Macquarie Fields. Kevin White and Charles Carmouche visited the centre to work with the children involved in the tournament. They conducted various fundamental basketball drills and finished with a high level game of basketball where YOTS kids took on the Sydney Kings.
St George Bank, one of Sydney Kings’ corporate partners hosted players in multiple branches around Sydney. At hand to mingle with customers, sign autographs and take photos with fans.
By being apart of our membership family, children under 12 were invited to an exclusive basketball clinic held by the Sydney Kings players. On Thursday 23rd January the new All Sorts Basketball Factory hosted the event which saw over 60 children attend.
On top of the Super Clinic held at the Hills Basketball Stadium, the Sydney Kings players visited various basketball associations around Sydney for their traditional school holiday camps; City of Sydney, Sutherland and Hills.
Eagle Waves Radio
In the beginning of December Head Coach Shane Heal and Co-Captain James Harvey were guests on the Radio Show ‘Chat with Chika’ with Kerry ‘Chika’ Chikarovski, one of Australia’s most admired and respected former female politicians. They talked about their playing careers, the popularity of basketball in Australia and the Sydney Kings community programs. Visit the website to listen to the interview in full: bit.ly/1g5ngnF
Ronald McDonald House Visit
Thursday 19th of December the MightyMite Sydney Kings visited the Ronald McDonald House at Westmead, celebrating Christmas and cooking dinner for the families. Read the full story here.
Youth Off The Streets
We launched our partnership with Youth Off The Streets, naming Kevin White as the Sydney Kings’ ambassador. Youth Off The Streets is a community organization with the goal to support disadvantaged young people in turning their lives around in a positive way. Read more about this partnership and the Kings’ involvement here.
NCIE after school program
In August the MightyMite Sydney Kings started working with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) after school program, in which multiple players visited the Centre, teaching the kids basketball drills and reading sessions. The program is all about educating indigenous children and about having a bit of fun! The visits have finished up for the year and will continue when school commences in 2014.
Kool Kids Program
Ben Madgen finished an 8-week program with the Kool Kids Club, a core program of Weave Youth & Community Services. Kool Kids Club is an educational outreach and prevention program working with Aboriginal children aged 7-13 years living in the South Sydney area. The program works with local schools providing free after school care and holiday activities for some of the most disadvantaged kids in the area. Read more about this program and Ben Madgen’s involvement here.
During Christmas time Sydney Kings Co-Captain James Harvey visited the Randwick Children’s Hospital handing them a gift and wishing them a Merry Christmas.
The Sydney Kings again visited several schools: William Carey School, Yates Avenue Public School, Georges River College, Granville Public School, Padstow Heights Public School, North Sydney Boys High.
By Nina Bonnema
Last month has been busy for the MightyMite Sydney Kings players, being active in various community events to promote basketball and to get involved with (indigenous) children, fans and different communities.
Fan Day in support of Camp Quality
On the 10th of November the MightyMite Sydney Kings organized a fan day in support of Camp Quality, a charity with the mission of creating a better life for every child suffering cancer.
The day was thanks to All Sorts Fitness and Wellbeing Centre for letting us use their new All Sorts Basketball Factory! Also thanks to 2KSports, St George Bank, Vics Meats, Nudie Juices, MightyMite and of course Camp Quality.
MightyMite Sydney Kings Co-Captain Ben Madgen is involved in several community programs such as the Kool Kids program, an eight week program, and the Madgen’s Message of Hope. Read more about this in the full article.
On the 6th of November Ben Madgen was live on the 2UE radio at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, talking to fans and promoting the Madgen’s Message of Hope while helping raise money for the hospital.
Madgen on Twitter: Thank you @NewsTalk2UE for having me on tonight to help raise money for The Children's Hospital at Westmead. Already over $790,000 raised!
Ronald McDonald House
James Harvey and Charles Carmouche visited the Ronald McDonald house in November in Westmead. They sat down with families, played with kids and did a house tour.
Carmouche on Twitter: Had a GREAT time at Ronald McDonald House. We complain bout little things but they have ppl with BIGGER problems. #GodBlessThem @SydneyKings
There will be a whole team appearance at the Ronald McDonald House in December, for a special Christmas event. Stay tuned!
Other community activities in November included, St George networking event, player interviews at Parent Wise, NCIE after school program, Jump Rope for Heart Skipping video, several hospital visits (Randwick, Westmead) and 12 school visits: St Paul of the Cross, Dulwich Hill, Hannans Road Public School, Belmore South Primary School, St Michael’s Belfield, St Augustine’s College Brookvale, Peakhurst Primary School, St Mel’s Primary School, Fort Street High School, Wiley Park Girls High School, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour West Pymble, Sydney Boys High School
By Nina Bonnema
One of the most important aspects of the Mightymite Sydney Kings is their community engagement. Last month the Mightymite Sydney Kings have been involved in a large number of events in different communities. By doing this, the Mightymite Sydney Kings are encouraging a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle and promoting the game of basketball at a grassroots level.
At the beginning of October the Mightymite Sydney Kings were present at the Filipino Festival in Fairfield. Players Brad Hill, Shaun Gleeson and Ben Allen interacted with the community by playing some basketball, taking pictures with fans and trying all kinds of interesting Filipino food. It was a great day with a lot of enthusiasm from the crowd as basketball is one of the Filipino community’s favorite sports.
Another important partnership was launched this month, this time with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE). The Mightymite Sydney Kings players are involved with NCIE’s after school program on a weekly basis, working with the indigenous children in the classroom and on the basketball court. This program has been going on for the past 6 weeks and is very succesful.
During October there have been hospital visits to both Randwick and Westmead, as part of Madgen’s Message of Hope program. Ben Madgen, Ben Allen, Kevin White and Shaun Gleeson have visited a number of seriously ill children to lift their spirits and invite them to a home game as part of the program.
Kool Kids Program
The Kool Kids Program, part of Weave, is an educational outreach and prevention program that lasts 8 weeks starting in Mid-October. Co Captain Ben Madgen visits the program every Tuesday (for 8 weeks) at All Sorts Indoor Sports Centre to help break down the barriers with the Indigenous community. Ben Madgen helps the kids with their homework, chat to them and run some basketball clinics and games.
Heart Foundation Launch
Another important partnership was launched this month. The Mightymite Sydney Kings will be getting into schools in conjunction with the Heart Foundation, supporting the charity’s programs and activities. This program was launched at the St Therese School in Mascot, where the children raised money for the Heart Foundation Jump Rope for Heart program. These funds go to research for heart diseases and strokes. Co Captain James Harvey addressed the school as an ambassador of the Heart Foundation.
School visits in October
The Mightymite Sydney Kings visited a total of 10 schools this month. Middle Harbour Public School, Blaxcell Street Public School, Kensington Public School Fete, Neutral Bay Public School, Narwee Public School, Kingsgrove North Public School, Fairfield High School, Condell Park Public School, the Sydney Adventist School and Yennora Public School.
Kings players attend the schools conducting coaching clinics, school presentations and talks about t healthy lifestyles and nutrition. These visits are very educational and fun for the students as Mightymite Sydney Kings players are prime examples of great role models.
Sydney School Shoot out
The MightyMite Sydney Kings sponsors the annual Sydney School Shoot out tournament. This year the tournament was held at Knox Grammar School. Several players and coaches attended the tournament over both days to engage with students and their families. We give a big thanks to Phil Webster who organises this tournament annually. The Sydney School Shoot out grand final will be played on Friday, 15th of November prior to the start of the Mightymite Sydney Kings vs. Townsville game. The grand final game will feature Sydney Boys High vs. Scots College at 6.10pm. Get your tickets fast!
The Mightymite Sydney Kings have been busy working hard in the community this week, engaging with fans and spreading positive messages.
On Tuesday, Ben Madgen continued his support of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, stopping by to visit patients with teammate Kevin White after a grueling training session.
Madgen, who has been involved with the hospital as part of Madgen’s Message of Hope brought smiles to the faces of many on the day and spoke of how rewarding the experience was.
“It really puts everything in perspective. We think we have a bad day at training or get injured but there are kids in here battling everyday and that’s inspiring,” said Madgen.
“It’s so rewarding seeing the smiles on their faces and I’m hoping to get a lot of them along to a game this season so they can get out of the hospital and have some fun with their families” he added.
As part of the program, Madgen provides 40 tickets to the hospital for each game; these are distributed to the children and their families.
Elsewhere, Jesse Sanders and Charles Carmouche were out and about visiting Westfield Eastgardens. The two import players taught children on school holidays some basketball basics, impressing the kids with their skills.
On the same day, AJ Ogilvy and James Harvey conducted a school holiday basketball camp at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence. The boys put the kids through their paces, teaching not only essential basketball fundamentals but also important life skills.
The work didn’t stop for the team on Wednesday either. With the Harbour Bridge providing a spectacular backdrop, the boys filmed their game night introduction videos.
The scene also served as the perfect location to film a commercial for proud sponsor Mightymite. With the help of Channel 10's new Wake Up hosts Natasha Exelby, James Mathison and Natarsha Belling, the Kings staged a classic Australian BBQ.
There’s no time to rest now for the Kings, as they now turn their attention to a Friday night pre-season clash against the Wollongong Hawks in Sutherland. You can tune into the game via Sydney Kings Radio.
Sydney Kings - Guy Neville
Sydney Kings’ Co-Captain Ben Madgen is set for a return to Santa Teresa, located in the Northern Territory, roughly 80km outside of Alice Springs. He is set to spend five days in the region undertaking community activities and providing assistance to the Indigenous children in the area.
Madgen made a trip to NT in 2012 with his sister Tess Madgen, a WNBL player with the Bulleen Boomers. The trip included a basketball clinic as part of a three day visit to the region.
This time around, Madgen will be heading up with his brother, Jack Madgen, who plays college basketball in the US for Delta State in Mississippi. 'Madge' will go to the area where his mother, Deb, is currently teaching.
Madgen noted that this time the community work will extend beyond the basketball court and into the classroom.
“We're branching out into the classroom as well, talking about nutrition and how important education is as well as hydration,” said Madgen.
Madgen explained that the clinics will also be run in a different fashion with the basketball skill development spanning across five days in order to give a more personalised experience.
“This year I'm doing four hours of coaching per day, with personalised classes throughout the school. Each class will come in for an hour and that will keep rotating,” he said.
Madgen was able to take the time to visit the area in part due to his recent injury at a Boomers camp in June which will keep him on the sidelines for a number of months. He assured Kings’ fans that his rehab was on track and that it wouldn't cease while he was on his trip.
“My ankle is coming along really well. I'm walking now and I've got my small weights to take up with me to keep up the rehab while I'm there,” he explained.
'Madge' will be keeping everyone up to date with his trip as it happens so be sure to keep an eye on the Sydney Kings Facebook page and Twitter Feed.
Watch Ben talk about his trip with Sydney Kings TV:
Sydney Kings - Matt McQuade
The Sydney Kings continued their outstanding community engagement work last week with a number of players from the 2012/2013 squad making appearances at events and helping out with some very worthwhile causes.
Co-Captain James Harvey turned barista for a couple of hours at the Sydney Boulevard Hotel as the Kings supported the important work of the New South Wales Cancer Council via Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.
‘Harvs’ was a hit with the public as he doled out coffee and cake, had his photo taken with fans and chatted amiably with everyone as he continued to spread the message of basketball and the Sydney Kings.
Ian Crosswhite, Kevin White and Aaron Bruce then made an appearance at a special event, held at the head office of retail giant Woolworths in Bella Vista, as the Kings joined forces with major sponsor Mighty Mite and Inghams to help raise much needed funds for Bowel Cancer Australia.
The guys hosted a popular ‘Shoot a Hoop’ competition, manned a desk to promote the club and its season membership drive ‘All the Way to 3K’ and talked with a number of interested observers and fans in what turned out to be a successful day. A positive experience was had by all.
And there was no rest for Ian and Aaron as they drove out to Macquarie Fields in Sydney’s outskirts to take part in the Basketball Day for the outstanding ‘Youth off the Streets’ program.
Founded by Father Chris Riley in 1991, Youth off the Streets is a non-denominational community organisation working for young people aged 12-21 who are facing challenges of homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, exclusion from school, neglect and abuse.
Since opening their doors more than a decade ago and starting out as a single food van delivering meals to young homeless people on the streets of Kings Cross, this remarkable organisation has built up to a major youth specific agency offering support to young people, helping them turn their lives around through delivery of a wide range of services.
Their services include crisis accommodation, alcohol and other drug services, counselling, outreach, residential programs and a mentoring program, and like the Sydney Kings they rely heavily on the support of their outstanding volunteers.
During the Basketball day, the guys ran through various drills, talked with the kids in attendance and then handed out Sydney Kings’ merchandise as prizes – all of which was gratefully received.
Samantha Tan, spokesperson for Youth off the Streets, paid tribute to the work Ian and Aaron did on the day.
“We really want to thank the Sydney Kings for organising Ian & Aaron to attend our Basketball day out at Macquarie Fields,” Ms Tan said.
“The kids were stoked and it was such a nice surprise for them.”
“It was so great to have the guys there to present prizes and it was such a great opportunity for our kids. Thanks once again for organising it and for all the merchandise as well.”
Once again, the Sydney Kings have shown their commitment to Community Engagement at a variety of levels. But the club needs the help of every Sydney basketball fan to ensure that the team remains strong and thriving now and into the future so it can continue its excellent work off the court.
Remember the Early Bird Offer with discounted pricing on season membership has been extended to 30 June 2013.
All members receive an exclusive Sydney Kings Membership pack valued at over $60, and those members who sign up before 30 June 2013 will have the opportunity to win two return flights to Los Angeles courtesy of United Airlines, plus four nights accommodation and tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood.
Importantly, payment plan options for season memberships are available with as little as 10% deposit required and memberships are transferrable.
So get on board and help the Kings go All the Way to 3K!
Sydney Kings. My City. My Team.
Sydney Kings - Matt McQuade
There is no rest for the Sydney Kings during the National Basketball League offseason with the team working exceptionally hard to spread the message of basketball while also supporting various local basketball associations and assisting with worthwhile causes.
Co-Captain James Harvey and the Sydney Kings Lion have made appearances at both the Sutherland and Penrith basketball stadiums in the last couple of weeks, meeting and greeting fans as the club continues its ‘All the Way to 3K’ membership drive, with the goal of 3000 members for the 2013/2014 season – the 25th season in the National Basketball League for the purple and gold.
And both Kevin White and 2012/2013 National Basketball League Most Improved Player, Sydney Kings’ Co-Captain Ben Madgen, have been conducting coaching clinics in recent days, with the pair visiting St Mary’s Primary School in Manly a fortnight ago to pass on their skills and knowledge to more than 60 excited children and then last Friday making a visit to some very special kids at the PLC Croydon Special Needs school.
In conjunction with Basketball New South Wales and the Department of Sport and Recreation, Kevin and Ben attended a Multi Sports Day for around 100 students with a range of disabilities including intellectual, physical, sensory (vision/hearing) and a few in wheelchairs. The guys ran through various drills in front of an enthralled audience, and spent plenty of time chatting with both the children and their families, who were all very appreciative that these elite athletes had come to visit their school.
“We really appreciate the help we had on the day from Ben and Kevin,” said Claire Petterson from Basketball NSW.
“The boys were absolutely fantastic and even took over the clinic for a while.”
“The kids were really excited and enjoyed interacting with Ben and Kevin. It's great seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and the boys were more than happy to take photos with the kids.”
Sydney Kings’ Co-Captain Ben Madgen talked about the great experience he and Kevin had at the school.
“It was a great day,” Ben said.
“It was just great to see the kids having a lot of fun, and some of the carers said that they hadn’t seen a lot of them smile like that in a long time, just playing some basketball.”
“We had to modify the rings and drills and things like that to make sure that everyone could be involved, regardless of their disability or limitation, and all the kids seemed to really enjoy it.”
“We had a lot of fun – there were a lot of kids there and we worked with a lot of groups. Basketball New South Wales was there as well and they were great in helping organise it.”
The Sydney Kings are proud of Ben, Kevin and James for their work in helping to support the club’s Community Engagement program, and thank Basketball NSW for their assistance in what was a very successful day at the PLC Special Needs School in Croydon.
Fans, don't forget that the Sydney Kings Early Bird offer expires 30 May! Sign up now for membership for the 2013/2014 National Basketball League season, receive a discount on your season membership and be in in the running to win two flights to Los Angeles, courtesy of our great partner United Airlines!
Join us as we go All the Way to 3K! Go to http://tinyurl.com/aqhw4eo to find out more!
Sydney Kings. My City. My Team.