October 22, 2010

Lakers practice at Pechanga

Pechanga Hosts Lakers Shoot-Around; Tribe Presents $10k Donation to After-School All-Stars with Kobe BryantThe Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians today hosted a team shoot-around for the back-to-back NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers at the tribe's new recreation center.

The Lakers stopped at Pechanga following their Thursday night game against the Golden State Warriors in San Diego. They held their pre-game shoot-around at the tribe's recreation center before heading to Ontario for their final exhibition game. Nearly 300 members of the Tribe were allowed to view a part of today's practice.

"This was a truly unique opportunity for a Native community to host the back-to-back NBA champion Lakers," said Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. "The team was very kind and gracious with our people and our guests. We hope to do more with them in the future."

Pechanga tribal leaders also presented a $10,000 donation to After-School All-Stars (ASAS), which provides comprehensive after-school programs to nearly 80,000 children in need on over 450 school sites in 13 different cities, including Los Angeles. Celebrity Ambassador Kobe Bryant was on hand to accept the donation on behalf of After-School All-Stars.

"It wasn't that long ago that our Native children were beneficiaries of programs like After-School All Stars," said Macarro. "We are deeply humbled to be in a position to support their important work of providing kids with after-school activities."
Comment:  Because of Phil Jackson's well-known interest in Indians, I made the following suggestion to my pal Victor, an enrolled Pechanga:Tell 'em your culture has a tradition of giving things (autographs, jerseys) to earn the Creator's blessings. If they're generous, their spirits will soar like eagles and they'll score many baskets.For more on Phil Jackson and the Lakers, see Smudging on Tonight Show and "X" Cap Benefits College Fund. For more on Natives and basketball, see Foxwoods Logo on Liberty Jerseys and Clippers Cursed by Indians?

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