For seven years, the Lakers and Pechanga Resort Casino have been partners in honoring active military members across Southern California. Annually, the program, Hoops for Troops, proves to be equally rewarding as it is admired.
This year, the Lakers and Pechanga invited 30 military members, on three separate occasions, to participate in a pregame basketball clinic on the acclaimed Lakers court at STAPLES Center. Watch
On November 4th, 8th, and 10th the troops arrived at the arena and were met by Lakers staff and Lakers Legends James Worthy, Robert Horry, and Michael Cooper. After the Lakers extended their gratitude for the troops’ service, the clinics commenced — complete with drills, relays, and a little friendly competition.
Robert Horry reflected on his deep respect for the military and why participating in Hoops for Troops is so significant to him explaining that, “My dad spent 28 years in the army and I saw what it did to my mother, I saw what it did to my family. It’s hard and in this day in age with everything that’s going on in the world, these troops are very important to peace in this world and so for them to take time out and for us to take time out as a Lakers organization and to honor them is always a pleasure. I’m just happy Pechanga and the Lakers let me be a part of it.”
After hanging with Big Shot, Big Game, and Coop-a-Loop, and learning the intricacies of Lakers Basketball firsthand, service members received four tickets to the respective games that evening where they were honored by Lakers staff, coaches, players, and of course fans.
At the November 10th match, the Lakers hosted Veteran’s Night where they recognized all who have served and are currently serving on their social channels, through their game entertainment, and with their in-arena giveaway, a camouflage Lakers x Pechanga branded hat.
As an organization, the Lakers' primary focus is to provide a world-class service to fans. With that being said, to take this moment and refocus their attention and efforts specifically on those men and women that serve the country is incredibly important. The Lakers and Pechanga have endless appreciation for the men and women serving and who have served and are looking forward to year eight.