KENNEWICK -- Rocket Rivers has played at Toyota Center before, but the Harlem Globetrotters guard will get a different view of the place tonight when he takes in the Tri-City Americans-Edmonton Oil Kings hockey game.
"I went to a semi-pro hockey game about four years ago, but I didn't get to see the whole thing," said Rivers, who arrived in the Tri-Cities on Tuesday afternoon. "I thought the fans were crazy. They had so much fun."
Rivers, 27, who played college ball at Francis Marion University (S.C.), has been with the Globetrotters for four years.
He is in town today, making appearances at Lewis & Clark Elementary School in Richland and Fiesta Foods in Pasco.
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He will make a couple of other stops along the way before arriving at Toyota Center, where he will sign autographs and participate in a couple of activities throughout the night.
"This is very rewarding," said Rivers, who will return with his teammates to play at Toyota Center on Feb. 20 as part of their 4 Times the Fun North American Tour. "I have loved basketball ever since I can remember. It's a way to reach out to kids. I'm in a position where I can reach out to kids all around the world."
And he has. With his Globetrotter teammates by his side, he has played basketball in more than 50 countries from North America to South America to Africa and Europe.
"I take every place at face value," he said. "There is no place I wouldn't go back to. You can learn from every place you go."
Tonight, Rivers and the Globetrotters will donate a signed basketball and four tickets to their upcoming game to be auctioned off for the Hockey Helps Haiti fundraiser.
"We are happy to help out in any community around the world," Rivers said.