Join us this September 11th at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa as we honor Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson with the Ambassador of Sport Award in recognition of his passionate and unwavering service to his hometown, his team, and the game of basketball at the annual Honors Awards Gala.
Kevin Maurice Johnson was born and raised in Sacramento, California. Johnson attended Sacramento High School where he played baseball and basketball and upon graduation received a basketball scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley, where he played as a starter for four years. Post-graduation, Johnson was chosen as seventh pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1987 NBA draft. The next season, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns where he became an elite player, joining the ranks of such players as Magic Johnson. His NBA career spanned twelve years.
In 2008, and again in 2012, Johnson was elected as the first African American Mayor of Sacramento. His vision has been to make the city of Sacramento “a city that works for everyone.” He is exceedingly passionate about his hometown and believes that as a community “[there is] so much to be proud of, like our unique and diverse neighborhoods, our thousands of beautiful trees, the country’s oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River and our beloved Sacramento Kings…Our city is in the midst of revitalizing our downtown and creating thousands of new jobs as we build a state of the art entertainment and sports center, the future home of the Sacramento Kings.”
In 2011, Johnson headed a campaign to keep the Sacramento Kings from leaving the city. This tenacious fight was chronicled in the documentary film, Down in the Valley. This monumental film documents Johnson’s journey through the fight to keep the Kings in Sacramento. NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley expresses, “I don’t think Kevin tried to save the team because he was the Mayor, I think he tried to save the team because Sacramento is home.”
Part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 films, Down in the Valley will be featured at the La Costa Film Festival on Friday, September 11th at 4:30pm in the Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, followed by a Q&A with Mayor Kevin Johnson. Get your tickets now.