NBA players often get a lot of flack for their comments and actions toward each other, but members of two teams came together off the court to show people they are all heart when it comes to family.
The Golden State Warriors went into Milwaukee a day early not to practice for their game against the Bucks but to show support to the Sandra Parks family after a stray bullet struck and killed 13-year-old Sandra in another senseless act of violence. Ironically, Sandra had written an essay that was picked up in national media about how gun violence impacted families.
Several NBA players helped ease the financial burden for her by attending a community fundraiser. Anyone who walked into Up-Down Milwaukee on the evening of Dec. 6 might have been star struck by those around them. Golden State Warriors’ Kevon Looney, Milwaukee Bucks’ Thon Maker, Matthew Dellavedova and Sterling Brown dedicated their time to boost the crowds while spending time with a family devastated by senseless gun violence. For the Parks family, a trip to an arcade bar was a welcomed change of pace.
“Tonight is the first night that I’ve got out and tried to enjoy myself, said Sandra’s mother Bernice Parks. Parks and her kids were surrounded by games galore providing them with a reason to smile after weeks of sorrow. Her daughter Sandra was in her bed when she was struck by gunfire and killed just before Thanksgiving. The heartbreaking story hit close to home for Milwaukee-native and NBA champion Kevon Looney.
“I know with me being a young kid growing up here… she was a bright student and doing all the right things,” he said. Looney said he was inspired by Parks’ passionate essay about the gun violence in her community. The same gun violence ended up taking her life. “I was asking them what we could do for help and they came up with this idea,” Looney said. He partnered with a local organization to put the fundraiser together. All of the money from game tokens and pizza went to the Parks family.
“Right now (we need) a place to stay because I’m still having nightmares,” Parks said. “It’s hard to sleep in the house now that she’s gone.” While Parks may not be a basketball fan, she’s thankful for the star athletes who gave up their time to help ease her family’s burden. And it didn’t end there. Not too far away at Hamilton High School, the big guns of the Warriors came out and surprised the people who thought they were attending a ceremony to retire Kevon Looney’s jersey. Suddenly, NBA MVPs Steph Curry and Kevin Durant burst onto the court, along with Klay Thompson and coach Steve Kerr. Our Weekly has been unable to confirm it, but reportedly some of the Warriors auctioned off their jerseys with the money going to the Parks family.