MILWAUKEE -- Several NBA players helped ease the financial burden for the family of 13-year-old Sandra Parks by attending a community fundraiser. Parks was killed by a bullet fired into her home late last month.
Anyone who walked into Up-Down Milwaukee Thursday night might have been star struck by those around them. Golden State Warriors' Kevon Looney, Milwaukee Bucks' Thon Maker, Matthew Dellavedova and Sterling Brown dedicated their time to boost the crowds while spending time with a family devastated by senseless gun violence.
For the Parks family, a trip to an arcade bar was a welcomed change of pace.
"Tonight is the first night that I've got out and tried to enjoy myself," said Sandra's mother Bernice Parks.
Parks and her kids were surrounded by games galore providing them with a reason to smile after weeks of sorrow. Her daughter Sandra was in her bed when she was struck by gunfire and killed just before Thanksgiving.
The heartbreaking story hit close to home for Milwaukee-native and NBA champion Kevon Looney.
"I know with me being a young kid growing up here... she was a bright student and doing all the right things," he said.
Looney said he was inspired by Parks' passionate essay about the gun violence in her community. The same gun violence ended up taking her life.
"I was asking them what we could do for help and they came up with this idea," Looney said.
Looney partnered with a local organization to put the fundraiser together. All of the money from game tokens and pizza will go to the Parks family.
"Right now (we need) a place to stay because I'm still having nightmares," said Parks. "It's hard to sleep in the house now that she's gone."
While Parks may not be a basketball fan, she's thankful for the star athletes who gave up their time to help ease her family's burden.
"Basically I never had anything," Parks said. "I struggle with all three of my kids."