On January 16, players and staff from the NBA Phoenix Suns paid a visit to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, stopping by the Round House Café to talk about what has been going on with the team, sign autographs and offer advice to Community youth.
The event was coordinated by Casino Arizona, a partner of the Phoenix Suns.
Tim Kempton and Tom Leander, both former players for the Suns and now broadcasting the games on radio, were joined by rookie guard No. 20 Archie Goodwin. The Gorilla also made an appearance, running through the café passing out basketballs and other Suns memorabilia. The broadcasters interacted with people in the café, who answered trivia questions for prizes.
Goodwin signed autographs and provided some behind-the-scenes information about the team, including the direction they are headed this year, the team’s win against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 15, and what’s happening in his life.
“Always stay positive and focused in what you are doing,” said Goodwin, “and always be around people who are going to push you. While growing up, I was always around family who pushed me and were honest with me and who told me what I needed to work on and how to be better. You have to know the truth at some point in time, and I think by them doing that it really helps. [You should also] always stay positive about everything.”
“It’s very hard to be here in the NBA because they only select a few people, and especially for me at 19 years [old], I try my very best,” said Goodwin.
Fans lined up at the Round House café to get their pictures and autographs after the Q&A session.
Food Service Manager Paul Johnson said the Round House Café appreciates the chance to serve the Community as a location for events like this. “We are glad we can help in any way,” said Johnston.
On February 10, the Phoenix Suns and Casino Arizona will host a basketball clinic at Salt River High School.