Building Bridges with Basketball 2017
On Saturday, November 4, the Lakers kicked off their month-long Building Bridges with Basketball initiative at the UCLA Health Training Center. This program uses basketball as a way to unite members of the Los Angeles Police Department with the community. Each Saturday during the month of November, police officers and community members come together to engage in conversation and spend some time on the basketball court together. This week, Metta World Peace led the group in a dynamic discussion about labeling, respect and accountability. After the conversation, everyone participated in some 5-on-5 scrimmages.
The Lakers continued Building Bridges with Basketball on Saturday, November 11. This week, the LAPD and local community members came together to attend the South Bay Lakers home game. When the group arrived, they received South Bay Lakers t-shirts and a tour of the UCLA Health Training Center before enjoying a meal together. During dinner, the conversation from last week continued and focused on forming a bond between law enforcement and the community. After dinner, the group headed downstairs together to enjoy watching the South Bay Lakers defeat the Austin Spurs!
Building Bridges with Basketball continued on November 18 at the UCLA Health Training Center. The focus of week three was on unity, and this theme was emphasized throughout the day during a series of scrimmages between the LAPD and local community members. Before playing basketball, everyone received a t-shirt and discussed unity both in sports and out in the community. At the conclusion of the basketball games, Corey Brewer and Larry Nance Jr. stopped by to meet the group and to talk about the importance of unity in their lives. With only one week left of Building Bridges with Basketball, it is easy to see that these communities have really come together as a unified group.
During the final week of Building Bridges with Basketball, the Lakers invited the families of LAPD and the families of the community groups to come to the UCLA Health Training Center and join in on the program. The Lakers Youth Foundation put on a basketball clinic for the kids that attended, and then the community groups and LAPD scrimmaged together. The group also met Brook Lopez, as he stopped by to speak about the importance of family. Hearing from the Lakers Center had the group fired up and ready to shoot some hoops with their families.