Lakers Host Charity Golf Invitational

Lakers players at The Riviera Golf Club.
Mike Trudell,

For the 22nd consecutive year, the Lakers hosted their annual Celebrity Golf Invitational and Dinner at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, all for the benefit of the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation.

An extremely successful evening resulted in the raising of $200,000 for the Foundation.

"It was yet another great day for the Lakers Youth Foundation at this event, which is really one of our signature events throughout the year that brings a lot of attention to the Foundation," said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. "Unfortunately, a lot of the things that the Foundation does go unnoticed, and to have an event like this really brings a great focus to the charity. We'd like to continue to host the tournament and hopefully it will be as successful in the future as it was today and has been in the past."

The day kicked off with breakfast at the clubhouse at from 9-11:00 a.m., followed by a shotgun start to the golfing (in "shamble" format), and a cocktail reception and silent auction from 5-6:30 p.m. hosted by TV play-by-play voice Bill Macdonald. Afterwards came an awards dinner featuring the Lakers players, legends like Elgin Baylor and A.C. Green and a live auction conducted by radio play-by-play voice John Ireland.

"While it is exciting to anticipate a strong playoff push in hopes of adding to a tradition unmatched in all of professional sports, we must also note and address the needs of the less fortunate living in our city," said Kupchak. "As citizens of Los Angeles, we are proud to support the efforts of the Youth Foundation, whose goal is to assist nonprofit community organizations based on need.

"With the Foundation's focus on the use of sports to promote education, teamwork and self-esteem among Los Angeles area youth, our fundraising directly supports these initiates by providing financial assistance to children and local youth programs."

In an effort to serve those children and programs, several items went up for live auction as Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and their teammates spread out amongst the dining tables:

- Floor seats at Staples Center during a First Round Lakers playoff game
- Trip to New York City with two business class tickets on Delta Air Lines and four nights at the Waldorf Astoria
- Two nights in a four bedroom villa with golf, massages and dinner at the Pelican Hill Ultimate Villa Golf Getaway
- An original portrait of Kobe Bryant painted by world famous artist Pamelina
- Partial ownership of a racehorse, lunch for 30 people and VIP treatment for a day at Santa Anita Park
- A trip to Paris with two BusinessElite Class tickets on Delta Air Lines and six nights at Hilton Arc De Triomphe

"All in all, it was a really enjoyable event, and we players are just happy to be able to do a little bit to give back to the community," said Lakers forward Josh McRoberts. "To raise that amount of money is terrific; it's going to a great cause."

Kupchak was pleased that the Lakers had a rare break in what has been an intense, compressed schedule this season, with three days off between games on Sunday and coming up on Thursday, allowing the players the evening off to attend the event.

"This year has really been a hunkered down, full-speed ahead, just get through it type of season," Kupchak concluded. "Scheduling was fortunate for us this week in that we had three days before our next game, so getting everyone together for this event really worked out great for everybody."