The Los Angeles Lakers Organizes ‘Hoops for Troops’ Program with Pechanga Resort & Casino

The NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers recently announced a partnership with Pechanga Resort & Casino to create the “Hoops for Troops” basketball program in honor of active and retired military servicemen.

The program gave 50 members of the U.S. Armed Forces the opportunity to train and play with NBA pros as their families watched from the stands. Each of those who took part in the program received free t-shirts, tickets to the evening’s preseason game, and of course – an experience of a lifetime.

The one-hour basketball clinics took place at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario on Oct. 8, San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center on Oct. 17, and the Honda Center in Anaheim on Oct. 22.

Playing with the Pros

Hoops for Troops participants received professional tips to improve their shooting, dribbling, and other skills from players and coaches from the Lakers’ preseason squad. Two lucky people from each clinic were also chosen to serve as the team’s Honorary Team Captain and game ball delivery person.

Children of the military servicemen were also allowed to join the activities as members of the High Five Squad. Kids part of the High Five Squad stood on-court as they welcomed teams onto the floor with high fives right before tip-off.

A Salute to the Troops

The Hoops for Troops program continues throughout the 2015-2016 NBA regular season, and was set to be highlighted at the STAPLES Center during the Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons game on Nov. 15, 2015.

Several programs and activities that honor our troops was also set to take place during the game:

  • Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler, three Americans who stopped a terrorist attack in France last August, was scheduled to be honored during the first quarter break.
  • Proceeds for tickets bought for sections 324 and 324 will be donated to Los Angeles veterans and military organizations.
  • A special Lakers camouflage hat and Hoops for Troops Rally towels from Pechanga Resort & Casino were given away.