Skal Surprises Local Scholar & Lifelong Kings Fan

Receiving an associate’s degree is an important milestone in any student’s educational journey, but one local student earned nine before even graduating high school.

D’Angelo Martinez from Middle College High School accomplished the scholastic feat earlier this year.

To celebrate and honor his academic success, the Sacramento Kings Foundation hosted Martinez and his family on a special tour of Golden 1 Center, where he got an exclusive look behind-the-scenes—including a sneak peak in the many club spaces, impressive data center and Kings locker room.

As the tour wrapped up, D’Angelo was asked some questions about the best parts of the arena tour and his favorite Kings players. While he was talking about his favorite player, Skal Labissiere, D’Angelo received a tap on the shoulder. He turned around and was greeted by Skal, who had stepped away from practice to surprise him.

@skal_lab surprises his biggest fan

A post shared by Sacramento Kings (@sacramentokings) on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:03am PDT

“I wasn’t expecting that. You asked me my favorite player, I said it, and the next thing you know I got tapped on the shoulder and Skal’s towering over me,” explained D’Angelo, still shocked from the surprise.

Skal and the Kings Foundation also presented D’Angelo with a special “Kings Diploma” honoring his scholastic achievements, an autographed basketball and the invitation to return for a game next season.

“The Kings Foundation is honored to acknowledge students who go above and beyond in attaining their educational goals,” said Executive Director of the Kings Foundation Scott Moak. “And our friend D’Angelo is certainly an exceptional student with a drive to accomplish his dreams — and his dedication to excelling in school makes us all ‘Sacramento Proud.’”

With acceptances to 12 universities, D’Angelo decided to attend UC Davis in the fall, as he wants to stay in Northern California to be close to his family. His goal is to become the first in his family to graduate from a four-year university and practice medicine.


Dedicated to making the Sacramento Kings about much more than basketball, the Kings Foundation values sustainability, healthy eating and education. By spreading these values, their main goals are to do good, impact the world and make Sacramento proud. To learn more about the other ways the Kings Foundation reaches out to the surrounding community, read more at

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