The Oroville Dam crisis in February was a stressful time for the community, especially the mandatory evacuations that sent nearly 220,000 area residents scrambling for safe housing until the threat of catastrophic flooding eased after several days. 

Among that large number of area residents was thousands of school children.

The community’s adversity - and its response to it - did not go unnoticed by one of the Northstate’s professional sports franchises.

The Sacramento Kings came to Gridley last Thursday to hold a rally for a number of area school children.

The assemble featured plenty of fun and games and a performance by the Kings dancers.

Kings Vice President of Community Impact Scott Moak - who also doubles as the team’s public address announcer - is used to firing up crowds.

So when he was assigned that task at last Thursday’s rally, he was more than up to the task.

Moak led an enthusiastic crowd of students and teachers  in a number of fun games and activities during the rally, including a teacher dance contest and a free-throw shooting contest.

It’s all part of showing that the Kings are about much more than just basketball, Moak said.

“we love getting out into the community and doing things like this,” Moak said. 

The assembly was one of three in the area on Thursday: The Kings also visited Golden Hills Elementary School in Oroville and Nelson Avenue Middle School in Oroville.

It was another in a series of rallies held over the past few months to welcome area students back to school.

Butte County Superintendent of Education Tim Taylor has attended most of the rallies, and has enjoyed every one of them.

“It’s more fun than sitting at my desk reading emails,” Taylor said with a smile.