Brandon Ingram
Brandon Ingram takes a selfie with a young fan at the annual Lakers Holiday Party for Kids on Dec. 22, 2018.
(Erica Martin/Los Angeles Lakers)

Players Bring Cheer at Annual Lakers Holiday Party for Kids

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

For the grand finale of the “Season of Giving,” Lakers players provided an unforgettable day for dozens of children.

On Saturday, Dec. 22, the Lakers held their annual Holiday Party for Kids presented by East West Bank. One hundred children from at-risk areas were invited to the UCLA Health Training Center for games, decorating and more.

“Growing up, I wish I kinda had something like this,” Kyle Kuzma told Spectrum SportsNet’s ‘Backstage Lakers.’ “Go around, make gingerbread cookies, play carnival games and meet Lakers. That’s pretty crazy, especially as kids. [They’ll] embrace this moment and love it and probably never forget it.”

Activities included ornament-decorating, cookie-making, basketball, “NBA 2K” and Connect 4 (Rajon Rondo’s favorite). And all children in attendance received a Lakers gift bag on their way out.

Kids were able to hang out with the players, including Brandon Ingram, who served as Santa Claus for a day.

“I even had some grown-ups come over and try to sit over there with me,” Ingram laughed. “It was really, really fun to see these guys smile, and [for me] to have the time to come out and have a chance to give.”

One of those adults was Ingram’s teammate, Josh Hart, who had some fun at the sight of a slender Santa.

“Brandon Ingram is probably the worst Santa Claus,” Josh Hart joked. “You can’t have a slim Santa Claus. It just doesn’t work.”

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