Los Angeles Lakers and Pechanga Host Hoops for Troops Basketball Clinics
With tip off for the 2017-18 NBA season just around the corner, the Los Angeles Lakers and their partner, Pechanga Resort & Casino, are already in regular season form. Tuesday, October 10th, marked the conclusion of a series of three basketball clinics held at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Honda Center in Anaheim, and the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario as part of the 2017 Hoops for Troops program. These clinics allowed the Lakers the opportunity to engage hands-on with members of the United States Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy both on and off the court. Each clinic hosted 50 Armed Forces service members, as they participated in a variety of shooting, passing, and ball handling drills. In Anaheim and Ontario, former Laker Brian Cook led these drills, while former Laker Robert Horry oversaw the clinic at STAPLES Center.
These basketball drills later evolved into small competitions, as each group split into two opposing teams. Participants then had the chance to win a spot to be the Honorary Team Captain and the Game Ball Delivery person for the following game. The clinics concluded with a final game of knockout, which included every participant on the court and created a captivating atmosphere as family members cheered from the sidelines.
In addition to the basketball and competition aspects of the clinics, Cook, Horry and the Lakers staff highlighted the Laker values of teamwork and sportsmanship. At the conclusion of each clinic, military members and their families continued to make memories by receiving Lakers tickets to the following preseason game. After the game in Anaheim, Lakers players, along with head coach Luke Walton, thanked the Hoops for Troops participants and their families for the commitments to serve.