Lakers News: Team Returns To Pechanga Casino
Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James attempts a free throw during an open practice at the Pechanga Reservation on Oct. 1, 2022 (Pechanga Reservation)

After a four-year-long absence due to the pandemic, the Los Angeles Lakers made a much-anticipated preseason practice stop at the Pechanga Recreation Center on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Temecula, California, to the glee of about 250 tribal youth members, parents, teachers, and coaches.

The shoot-around and scrimmage at the tribe’s recreation center gym on the Pechanga Reservation featured LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and the entire Lakers team and coaches. The mood was light and fun, but the tune-up comes just two short days before the team’s opening 2022-23 preseason game against the Sacramento Kings, which will be held at the Arena in Los Angeles.

Before the Laker’s arrival, the Lakers Youth Foundation coaches hosted a basketball clinic for about 100 children. The kids were tasked with running, sprinting, dribbling, shooting, and special skills drills under Lakers Youth Foundation head coach Daryl Roper and his coaching staff. Specially designed t-shirts were given out to commemorate the day, which was memorable for both fans and players.

“It was a great experience for me, my first time out here,” said Anthony Davis, Lakers forward. “I know these fans, it’s a pretty far drive so they may not get a chance to come down to Arena to watch the games so to come out here and practice in front of them, I know it meant a lot to them, and it meant a lot to us.”

The team held its first practice at Pechanga in 2010 at the newly-built recreation center. The team was so impressed with the facility and the hospitality provided by the Pechanga Indian Reservation that it has made it a yearly scheduled event to come back year after year to raise money for charity.

Casino Night

Lakers Basketball players and coaches also took part in a casino night at Pechanga Resort Casino on Friday, September 29, to benefit the Lakers Youth Foundation. Pechanga has been a longtime donor to the Lakers Youth Foundation and a sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers. The event saw casino experts mingle with players and coaches at table games to benefit charity.

“It’s an honor to have the Lakers be here at Pechanga, especially after four years to make that connection once again, and hopefully, we continue this into the future,” said Mark Macarro, Pechanga Tribal Chairman.

Pechanga Resort Casino is one of the largest resort casinos in the United States. The massive casino floor spans 200,000 square feet and features 5,400 slot machines, 152 table games, a non-smoking poker room with 38 tables, and an ultra-modern, 700-seat bingo facility.

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