LOS ANGELES – It’s not every day people get to run 2-on-1 fast breaks against Glen “Big Baby” Davis or learn basketball skills from the Clippers.
Military members were able to do just that Sunday at Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, as current and former Clippers players taught basketball fundamentals to service members and their children during NBA Hoops for Troops week.
It’s great to see the people that serve our country and their families out here just to have a good time and get fit. This is a great opportunity to give back our talents and show them what basketball’s about.- Jared Cunningham
Cunningham said as a kid he always wanted to meet professional basketball players, so it’s great to be able to give back that way now for a good cause.
“They show great appreciation when we come out and do this for them,” Cunningham said. “It’s always exciting to come out and have fun with people you’re just meeting and people serving the country.”
Current players Chris Douglas-Roberts, C.J. Wilcox, Cunningham and Davis joined former Clipper Lamond Murray guiding and going through shooting, passing and dribbling drills with military members and their families.
“It’s good to be able to be out in the community,” Murray said. “We do a lot of good stuff in the community with The Clippers Foundation with the kids. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to participate with the Hoops for Troops, giving back to our troops for the week.”
Cunningham said one of the highlights of the day was seeing Davis on the court guiding everyone and working up a sweat. Davis exuberantly led many of the drills, and Cunningham could tell how intently everyone listened to him and focused on his advice.
That was something Staff Sgt. Denise Hall appreciated while watching her son go through the drills.
“It’s very cool,” she said. “My son is a big basketball fan and I’m a big basketball fan. Sometimes you don’t get to see your favorite players, and this gives us the opportunity to see our favorite players up close.”
The Hoops for Troops initiative is a partnership with the military to join current and former NBA players in a commitment to service in the local community. The NBA has a long history of honoring and working with the military through the NBA Cares Hoops for Troops Program.
“It’s always nice to know the people you get to watch on TV as a fan are actually here to give back,” Hall said. “They’ve shown they actually do care about us.”