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LA Lakers, Kobe Bryant Shoot Hoops for a Good Cause at Pechanga Resort & Casino

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Gearing up for the first game of their regular season on Tuesday, October 28, the Los Angeles Lakers made a preseason practice stop at the Pechanga Recreation Center on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Temecula, California. On Thursday, October 16 players and coaches participated in a shoot around at the tribe’s recreation center with tribal youth and members following the action as spectators.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been traveling to many points across Southern California for exhibition games during the three-week preseason, and the shoot around in Temecula was a chance for the team to show gratitude for inland Southern California fans’ loyalty. The Lakers’ practice in Temecula was not open to the public, though members of the media were invited to interview coaches and players following the shoot around.

Pechanga Resort & Casino

Kobe Bryant

“We deeply appreciate our partnership with the Lakers and their commitment to the broader Southern California community,” said Tribal Chairman, Mark Macarro. “Our youth were ecstatic. Today, they witnessed a focused, structured practice with high intensity, and what it takes to be a champion."

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“It’s great to see the support we have all over Southern California, not just in Los Angeles,” said Lakers Head Coach, Byron Scott. “The guys [players] love it and motivates them to do even better.”

Pechanga Resort & Casino

Lakers Head Coach Byron Scott is presented a gift by the tribe

Pechanga has been a longtime donor to the Lakers Youth Foundation and sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers. The team held a similar practice at Pechanga in 2010 at the newly-built recreation center. The team was impressed with Pechanga’s hospitality and returned in 2013 and 2014, and to raise money for charity. Many of the players and coaches took part in a casino night fundraiser at the Pechanga Resort & Casino on Wednesday night benefiting the Lakers Youth Foundation. 

Kobe Bryant talked about what he looks forward to this season. “The challenge. It’s such a long season. It’s about staying healthy, getting our team to play at a high level.”