Harrison Barnes, Kaiser Permanente Host Hoops & Health Clinic At Warriors Practice Facility
Children from Boys & Girls Club of Oakland and East Bay Agency for Children Treated to Drills and Fitness Tips from Warriors Rookie Forward

Golden State Warriors Forward Harrison Barnes, a member of the 2012-13 NBA FIT team, hosted 60 Bay Area boys and girls Wednesday evening for a Kaiser Permanente Hoops & Health Clinic at the Warriors Practice Facility. Harrison demonstrated to the kids the importance of physical activity along with healthy eating and living habits.

“We’re here today to inspire kids to get fit, and we hope this basketball clinic today will help kids to stay active and spend some time in the gym,” said an energetic Barnes.

During this year’s NBA/WNBA FIT Live Healthy Week, the league’s comprehensive health and wellness program has teamed up with celebrity chefs, community members, and partners to highlight the importance of healthy living to children and families nationwide. Kaiser Permanente, the presenting sponsor of the Golden State Warriors 2012-13 season, joined Barnes in highlighting the importance of stretching, sleeping and eating well on a daily basis.

“It makes a big difference to have support from our elite athletes reinforcing the importance of being healthy because professional athletes are the ones kids look up to,” explained Kaiser Permanente representative Dr. Venkateshwar E. Kapur.

Upon arriving at Warriors headquarters, 40 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland and 20 children from the East Bay Agency for Children threw on their Kaiser Permanente Get Fit Time-Out t-shirts and darted onto the Warriors practice court. Excitement was high as every boy and girl raced to grab a ball and shoot at one of the eight baskets.

Jeff Addiego, the director of Warriors youth basketball, huddled the children together while Barnes excitedly shared how much fun they were going to have together for the next hour. After an NBA-style warm-up session, the local children delved right into a defensive drill session, with Harrison encouraging everyone to get in a strong stance, use quick feet and scream the correct defensive chant.

“I had a lot of fun today exercising and Harrison helped me improve how I play defense,” said 9-year-old Henry, a member of the East Bay Agency for Children.

After stressing to the participants the importance of defensive effort, Barnes broke the kids into six baskets to conduct a shooting clinic. After the drill, one lucky child was able to play some one-on-one with Harrison, where the child learned firsthand the importance of defensive intensity.

“It was fun to play basketball with one of the kids. I love seeing the energy he had to play a little bit with me,” said Barnes.

After a quick water break, Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Kapur, a specialist in sports medicine, gathered the children together and stressed the importance of regular water intake throughout exercise, stretching before activities to avoid injuries, and eating breakfast and healthy foods on a daily basis.

“With healthy interventions, we can really make a difference with kids as they grow up,” explained Dr. Kapur. “We can reduce injuries, make kids smarter and make them stronger, so hopefully we instill these ideas for the rest of their lives.”

Harrison then participated in a Q&A session with the kids, touching on what his favorite foods are, his favorite activities and how much fun he is having during his first year in the league. Before giving away an autographed basketball and a pair of his shoes to the kids, Barnes shared how important it is they all had fun but also learned something about living a healthy lifestyle as well.

“The best thing that these kids can take away from today Kaiser Permanente and me is to be active every day,” Barnes said. “Just shooting and rebounding for yourself, working on your one-on-one moves by yourself is a great way to build your conditioning and have fun while staying healthy.”

To learn tips from Harrison Barnes and other members of the NBA FIT Team, please visit http://www.nba.com/nbafit/.