This is a sponsored post with Verizon. All thoughts expressed are completely my own.
Los Angeles is a giant city. It’s full of just about anything you can think of…and us Angelenos take pride in everything. Our food, our beaches…and our Lakers. Growing up, if the Lakers were on, we didn’t go ANYWHERE…unless it was to watch the game at someone else’s house. I watched as Magic Johnson faced off with Larry Bird, as the US sent the first Dream Team including our Lakers, and as Kobe came to Los Angeles and became as synonymous with the city as Mexican food is. The Lakers are L.A. Kids here dream of playing ball at the Staples Center..hell, even lots of adults do (just ask my uncle…and brother…and husband…and, well, you get it). The chance to even think about playing ball next to the greats is the thing dreams are made of.
Verizon and I have partnered up a few times in the past, but this time was special… they wanted me to check out Camp Lakers! As a basketball fan and an Angeleno I wanted to learn all about it and see just what goes on at camp. But right before I said yes, the great team at Verizon gave me a spot at Camp Lakers to give to any kid between the ages of 9-17 yrs old. My daughter is too young so I reached out to my friends and one eagerly replied, and I got to give her nephew, Isaac, the gift of a lifetime…the chance to go to Camp Lakers! As a part of the Verizon FiOSSoCal program, Isaac will be one of ten lucky children to go to Lakers Camp this year. Verizon’s commitment to Influence Change will allow these children to receive world-class instructions from Lakers staff and players, while instilling the importance of hard work, teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship on and off the court.
I got a chance to head to Camp Lakers myself, and when I was there, one of the former Lakers players, Michael Cooper was there! I sat and watched as he coached, educated and helped teach the young athletes. He talked about the importance of a proper education and how keeping your head in the game also meant getting better than a C average. The kids really listened to him because he was real with them and shared his own experiences. Then, he called kids up to check out their shooting and give them some one on one coaching. He was so dedicated that he stayed over his alloted time and continued to talk to the kids. That’s just the kind of speakers they get to meet there. In the past, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson even stopped by! Even if you don’t care for the Lakers, those names are infamous in basketball and their knowledge is priceless.
Director Irving Thomas has been running the camp for 14 yrs and he is also a recruiter for the Lakers team. He told me he believes basketball is very beneficial and that the kids not only get physical activity but learn things like pushing themselves, teamwork and sportsmanship. He has seen kids come back year after year from all over the world, and his staff is just as dedicated, often flying in to coach for a week or two from wherever they are.
I could go on and on about Lakers Camp… but it’s probably best you hear it from a camper himself. Here is what Isaac had to say about Camp Lakers. I’m positive the 9 other lucky kids who Verizon got to send got just a great of an experience as Isaac did.
To learn more about how Verizon FiOSSoCal is Influencing Change in Southern California at verizon.com/fiossocal.