National and local celebrities visit SkyKings basketball game for ‘FanFest’


Nithin Reddy Nagapur`

A child cheers for the SkyKings during their match against the Little Rock Lightning team on May 28. Families and children came out to meet celebrities after the game.

Fans and Wichita community members filled Charles Koch Arena right before Memorial Day to watch Wichita’s professional basketball team, the SkyKings, play against the Little Rock Lightning — and to see well known, former basketball players, like Ron Baker.  

The SkyKings attempted to break The Basketball League attendance record with the game and their free “FanFest” afterward on Sunday.

During the match against Little Rock, featured celebrities sat courtside as they watched The SkyKings come out on top with a score of 142-85. Halfway through the third quarter, fans began lining up to be able to meet their favorite celebrities at different locations around the arena.

Wichita State alums, like Baker, Shaquille Morris and Conner Frankamp were present. NBA stars Jose Alvarado andDevonte’ Graham, former NBA players Brandon Rush and Tyshawn Taylor, and actor Charles Esten also made an appearance.

Baker, Morris and Frankamp started off with the longest line for their meet and greet compared to other celebrities but more fans trickled in, making lines practically overlap with each other around the arena. 

While the game and meet and greet were free, most fans had merchandise out and ready to be signed by celebrities. Each celebrity table had different prices for photos and/or signed posters. 

“I love coming back to Koch Arena,” Baker said. “The SkyKings did obviously a good job today, won the game, and put on a good show, so it’s good to be home.”

Lines were dominated by families and young children. Spectator Cameron Conley-Work was with his son at Sunday’s game.

“It kind of brings Wichita together to … celebrate and do something,” Conley-Work said. “To just get together and rally behind something for once.”

With the win, the SkyKings have made it into the playoffs, and their first round is set for Friday, June 2, 7 p.m. at Charles Koch Arena.