FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --It was a big day for four kids from southeast Fresno.
They took a road trip to see the record-setting Golden State Warriors take on the Rockets in the first round of the NBA playoffs and a Fresno Police lieutenant drove them there himself.
It's been a day of firsts for the kids. Their first trip to Oakland, and their first pro-ball game. It was also a chance to get out of the streets of Fresno, if only for a little while.
If these kids could, they would go to every Warriors game but even one was hard to come by.
"The money," one of the kids explained. "Just the money, that's it."
They live in a rough part of town on the southeast side of Fresno, far from the bright lights of a professional basketball court. But Lt. Mark Salazar of the Fresno Police Department put them in his truck and drove them to Oakland to give them a brief escape.
"Seeing them laughing, seeing them high-five each other, enjoying the game, watching the game and interacting was just great," Salazar said.
Kaiser Permanente gave the kids the tickets and a suite.
It was a reward for being good students and a part of the Boys and Girls Club. Salazar says he volunteered for this because 30 years ago, he was just like them.
"Just give them some of the mentoring that they need," Salazar said. "Because these kids live in challenging neighborhoods."
They came straight home after the Warriors victory, and, hours later, all four were still glowing with excitement.
"I'm thankful, I'm thankful," Ortega said. "I'm very, very thankful for that and if they could continue doing it, yeah, I'll continue doing good."
The parents were thankful too.
"Basically, if no one really cared, if no one spoke up about it, no one helped out," parent Anthony Flores said. "There would be nothing like this for my son to do."
As for Salazar, he says it took one officer to change his life when he was young and this road trip will be enough to give all four kids some hope.