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Kings Share Insider's View of NBA with Elk Grove Fans

Wednesday's 'Basketball 101' workshop was part of a series the team is hosting in the region as debate continues over whether to build them a new arena.

Sacramento Kings staff and other basketball experts spent some time with Elk Grove fans Wednesday night breaking down the intricacies of college and professional hoops.

The 'Basketball 101' class, held at on Bond Road, was one of a series the Kings are offering at six different CalFit locations in the Sacramento area. While the classes were originally limited to season ticket holders and CalFit members, the team recently opened them to members of the public as well.

Classes cover strategy, scouting, conditioning, officiating and broadcasting. The hot topic during the Elk Grove class was officiating.

Season ticket holder Doug Hillvoon said that he learned some valuable information from NCAA officials George Putnam and Bob Godwin about positioning of referees on the floor.

"I think it’s really beneficial for us as fans to understand what they’re doing and why," Hillvoon said.

Lafayette 'Fat' Lever—the Kings' Director of Player Development, a radio analyst and two-time NBA All-Star—shared his knowledge on several different subjects. Although many fans don’t agree with the calls that officials make down on the floor, Lever says that he thinks that NBA officials do a great job.

“I think everyone has their own opinion of what’s right and what’s wrong,” Lever said about rules in sports. “But the rulebook correlates and tells you what’s truly right."

"I think that there’s always going to be a few calls that are missed," he added. “The ones that are missed, as long as they don’t dictate the outcome of a [game], it’s something we have to live with.”

The Kings created Basketball 101 this summer, at a time when they are attempting to build support among area residents and elected officials for a new arena. But team public relations director Chris Clark said the arena debate wasn't what prompted the program.

"It's just kind of an opportunity to engage our fan base," he said. "It gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how we run the organization, and a deeper appreciation of the game."

The tour continues this Wednesday in Roseville and wraps up in Citrus Heights Sept. 7. CalFit members interested in attending can inquire at their gym for details. Non-members can visit www.kings.com.

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