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Sacramento non-profits would be "devastated" if Kings left | News

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Sacramento non-profits would be "devastated" if Kings left
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SACRAMENTO - If Sacramento Kings' owners Joe and Gavin Maloof decide to move the team to Anaheim, the economic impact is well known - the loss of about 1,200 jobs and a big blow to businesses surrounding Power Balance Pavilion.

However, the team leaving would also be a big blow to non-profits and local charities that the team and its owners have supported for years.

In Rocklin, the team runs a youth basketball program with camps, clinics, tournaments and more. It's so popular it had to turn away dozens of children. The Kings announced the camp last year, and if the team goes, so does the camp

"It would be sad to see all that go, especially because we're just starting to build," said camp director Dave Taylor.

The team and its owners also support dozens of non-profits.

"All of these charities are affected by them leaving," said Gary Christensen of the Kiwanis Family House, which offers families a place to stay while their loved ones are receiving medical treatment.

His group has raised $150,000 volunteering at the Arco concession stands.

In 2006 the Maloof brothers, who own the Kings, awarded the Kiwanis Family House their George Maloof Senior Community Cup. It comes with a $100,000 donation.

"That $100,000 helped open our new center for the guests that stay here," Christensen said.

That community cup is a long standing tradition. In 1999, the donation built a little league field.

"I think it's our responsibility to give back to the community," said Gavin Maloof, standing on the field in 1999.

In 2004 the donation allowed for a restoration to a downtown cathedral that focuses on community outreach; a few years later, one for public television station KVIE and its children's reading program. Their latest award came in 2008, to the Capitol Unity Project.

"They've contributed $19 million since they've been here to over 100 organizations," said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson while breaking the news that the Maloofs were leaning towards Anaheim. "That is an organization that has been committed to the community."

Brothers Joe and Gavin have until April 18 to file relocation papers with the NBA. They're expected to discuss it with the Board of Governors at their end-of-season meeting on April 14 and 15.

This isn't the first time the Maloofs have turned their eyes toward Anaheim. In 2003 they were reportedly interested in buying the Anaheim Ducks.

Two years before that, Gavin Maloof told the L.A. Times, when the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies were considering moving into the Honda Center, "I think Anaheim would be a plus for the league."

He went on to say, "The arena is beautiful, the market is so rich. Three teams in that market, it could handle it."

He gave that quote ten years ago this month.

By Nick Monacelli, nick@news10.net

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