NBA star misses Albuquerque youth basketball clinic

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Hundreds of kids went to an Albuquerque basketball clinic Thursday for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet an NBA champion.

However, the Golden State Warriors point guard Shaun Livingston did not show up.

Event organizers said they are trying to make up for the young basketball players who were disappointed when they learned Livingston’s flight was canceled. Families traveled from all over the state.

“We came from Clovis, New Mexico. It’s about four hours and 15 minutes away, ”said Taber Stanfield, who paid his brother to attend the youth basketball clinic.

Some even came from outside of New Mexico.

“We have someone from California,” said Joseph Sanchez, organizer of the Elite Skills Basketball Clinic at St. Pius High School.

“Coming here to meet my first NBA superstar would be an exciting moment and he didn’t come,” said Elijah Gaxiola, an aspiring newcomer to the Atrisco Heritage Academy.

Livingston made it to the NBA finals twice with the Golden State Warriors and won the championship in 2015.

Livingston was scheduled to arrive in New Mexico last night, but 300 young basketball players were disappointed to learn it didn’t.

“You wanted a one-on-one interview with him. It was going to be special, ”said Sanchez.

He said the New Mexico Basketball Association printed about 500 jerseys and 400 pictures for the occasion so children could get Livingston’s autograph.

So Sanchez worried Wednesday night when Livingston’s flight was delayed. He panicked Thursday morning when Livingston’s flight was canceled.

“Yeah, it’s been pretty much a whole night for me,” said Sanchez.

He said Livingston was one of thousands affected by the massive Southwest Airlines computer meltdown.

“We apologize because at the end of the day we are the ones who organized this event,” said Sanchez.

The players still had a day of training, the New Mexico Basketball Association reimbursed the players for the $ 135 fee, and organizers hope to work something out with Livingston.

“I really just hope he gets it right,” said Sanchez.

“Hope we see him,” said Gaxiola.

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