Thursday, July 18, 2024

Golden Knights Celebrate Black History Month

March 25, 2024 by  
Filed under Feature

The Vegas Golden Knights held a series of events in February to celebrate Black History Month, highlighted by their Black History Knight game on Tuesday, February 20. Although the VGK dropped that contest to Nashville, 5-3, the theme of “Honoring Black History” was celebrated throughout the night. 

Golden Knights Joel Ward

Prominent Black members of the VGK organization took their usual spots in the spotlight — from forward Keegan Kolesar on the ice to assistant coach Joel Ward behind the bench. Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson belted out the national anthem to start the game and in-game host Bojo Ackah and DJ Joe Green entertained the sellout crowd. 

In addition, special guests at the game included leadership from the Las Vegas Urban Chamber of Commerce and Wendell P. Williams, the founder of the city’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and a former state assemblyman. The Knights Salute program — which allows season-ticket members to donate tickets to deserving members of the community — donated more than 40 tickets to the game to staff and Board members from the brand new Donna Street Community Center, and DJ Kelly J performed during the second intermission Knight Club. 

Golden Knights celebrate Black History

The day after the game, Donna Street Community Center celebrated its grand opening, with the Golden Knights organization in attendance and hosting ball hockey for kids. The VGK Foundation is a proud sponsor of the center’s podcast room. 

Other ball hockey events in the community included Kolesar and Ward visiting the Doolittle Community Center for a clinic with dozens of kids on February 16. 

Golden Knights visit Doolittle Community Center

“Anytime you can help the community it’s a big honor,” said Kolesar. “Especially with the heritage that Joel and I come from. We get the opportunity to come and help out and grow the game in communities like this. It means the world to us. I think it’s an honor to be able to do this.” 

The Golden Knights also hosted several hours of ball hockey at the Springs Preserve Black History Month Festival. 

“I think it’s our job at this level is to introduce the game and to get out in the communities because a lot of people would love the opportunity to be part of it,” said Ward. “We can continue as a group to introduce the game. Whether it’s playing a little ball hockey here or handing hockey cards, it’s about getting a little bit of interest. Those sparks can pay a lot of dividends to different neighborhoods and different people.”

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