NEW YORK – The New York Knicks will host 150 children, their families and teachers from Sandy Hook Elementary School on Saturday when they play the Sacramento Kings.
Twenty or more children from the Newtown (Conn.) Choir from Sabrinas Encore Products will sing the national anthem before the game, the second time this week the Knicks and children from the devastated community about 90 minutes away will be together.
The Knicks organization on Tuesday visited Newtown, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at the school in December.
The team, the Knicks City Dancers and Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation hosted 400 children from Sandy Hook Elementary (now Chalk Hill Elementary) and their families at the Newtown Youth Academy in what was called a “Knicks Family Fun Day” event.
“It was fun,” Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said. “We went out there (and) it was just good to see a lot of people smile all over again. Just to be doing the things that we were doing – playing the games, playing basketball with them, just making people smile and feel happy about themselves.”
There were basketball drills and contests, along with other activities such as a magician, face painters and balloon makers in a carnival-type setting.
“That was great,” Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire said. “We were there pretty much just wanting to put smiles and hope back in the families faces. It was an awesome event. Great for us to interact with the families there. That was great for them.”
A month after the killings, children from the choir who will perform recorded “Sandy Hook: Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit the Newtown Youth Academy and the United Way of Western Connecticut.