Rockets owner invites entire Santa Fe High School senior class to Game 5 in Houston

Among the Houston Rockets’ plans to honor the victims, survivors and first responders of last week’s shooting that claimed the lives of eight students and two teachers at Santa Fe (Texas) High School, owner Tilman Fertitta reportedly invited the school’s entire senior class to attend Thursday’s Game 5.

A native of Galveston County, the municipality southeast of Houston that includes Santa Fe, Fertitta is providing 300 tickets, food, transportation and a police escort for the students, per multiplereports.

“We’re just trying to do our little bit. That’s all,” Fertitta told reporters from Wednesday’s Game 4 in Oakland, via KPRC-TV. “Just trying to make a special day where, 30 years from now, they think about going to that Western Conference finals game instead of their last few days of being a senior.”

The Rockets evened the series with a wild 95-92 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Rockets plan video tribute to Santa Fe victims

At Thursday’s Game 5, the Rockets will honor Santa Fe’s senior class and the first responders to the shooting on the court in addition playing a pregame video tribute to the victims, Fertitta said. The high school’s choir has been invited to sing the national anthem, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

“In the midst of this difficult time,” the Santa Fe High School administration wrote in a letter to students extending Fertitta’s invite, “we are appreciative of the outpouring support from our caring community. … It is our hope at Santa Fe High School that this will provide our graduating seniors with an evening to gather with friends who have reached the milestone of graduating together.”

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Aftermath of deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas
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Aftermath of deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Students embrace during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
A young boy prays during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather in prayer during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Two young girls pray during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People console each other during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a press conference about the shooting incident at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Young girls place a rose on a table during vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Associate Pastor Clint Detroot (C) of Dominion Church, speaks as Texas Governor Greg Abbott (L) and Texas Senator Ted Cruz join mourners during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Students light candles during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Mourners bow their heads in prayer during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Pastor Lucas Campbell (C) of Santa Fe Baptist Church speaks as Texas Governor Greg Abbott (L) and Texas Senator Ted Cruz join mourners during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather during a vigil held at the Texas First Bank after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather with candles during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
People gather with candles during a vigil held after a shooting left several people dead at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Trish Badger
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Texas Governor Greg Abbott holds hands with family and friends at a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: A bible,; rose and a candle sit on a table during a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Friends and family attend a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
SANTA FE, TX - MAY 18: Dr. Leigh Wall, Superintendent of the Santa Fe school district speaks during a vigil held at the First Bank in Santa Fe for the victims of a shooting incident at Santa Fe High School where a shooter killed at least 10 students on May 18, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High school. Police arrested a student suspect and detained a second person. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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Chris Paul to Houston: ‘We are going to need you’

Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who extended his sympathies to the Santa Fe community in addition to calling for action in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s shooting, again expressed support for the survivors after scoring 27 points and grabbing the game-clinching rebound in Wednesday’s victory.

“The city of Houston, we are going to need you,” Paul told reporters, via KTRK-TV. “We are going to need you Game 5. The city has been through a tough time with the things at Santa Fe, but hopefully basketball can be a way that people can come and ease their minds if only for a second. So Houston, we are coming home.”

“Hopefully they find joy in coming to the game,” added Rockets wing Trevor Ariza.

Thursday’s Game 5 is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. CST in Houston.

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