Former Sacramento Monarchs guard and WNBA all-star Ruthie Bolton will be at Hot Italian (1627 16th St., Sacramento) this Saturday from 3-6 p.m. to meet fans and sign copies of her new book, "The Ride of a Lifetime: The Making of Mighty Ruthie."
The event coincides with the Olympic gold medal game in women's basketball, which will be shown at the pizzeria starting at 4 p.m.
As many Sacramentans know, Bolton was not only an excellent basketball player but a widely respected woman off the court with a compelling life story.
At Hot Italian, Bolton will auction off some of her Olympic memorabilia to raise money for her foundation.
"She is an amazing person and athlete," said Andrea Lepore, Hot Italian's creative director. "I thought this would be a good way to honor her."
Unwittingly, Bolton also played a role in the creation of Hot Italian, which opened in early 2009. While playing pro basketball in Italy during the WNBA off-season, she became friends with a restaurateur, Fabrizio Cercatore. She introduced Cercatore to Lepore, who worked in public relations for the Monarchs and Sacramento Kings, and the two kept in touch, eventually coming together to launch Hot Italian.
For those who can't make the book signing Saturday, Bolton will be appearing Sunday at The Avid Reader (1600 Broadway, Sacramento) from 2-4 p.m.
As for Hot Italian, its Hot Lunch Concert Series continues to be a big success. The concerts are in Fremont Park (across from Hot Italian) every Thursday during the summer. Tomorrow's (Aug. 9) concert features the band Exquisite Corps. Those planning to eat and watch the concert can order their pizzas ahead of time by calling 916-444-3000. And if pizza isn't in the plans, Hot Italian has partnered with select food trucks to be on-site, including Wicked 'Wich and Mama Kim and Fusion Eatz. Also Thursday, there will be a Sierra Nevada beer tasting at Hot Italian from 11:30 to 1 p.m.
Blair Anthony Robertson is The Bee's restaurant critic. Follow him on Twitter, @blarob.