Sports | Lakers in the Inland Region
Gearing up for the first game of their regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 28, the Los Angeles Lakers made a preseason practice stop at the Pechanga Recreation Center on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Temecula, Calif. 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.
“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.”
“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 even better.”
Exclusive photos taken by Richard Sandoval for Hispanic Lifestyle
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.
About the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians
The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe that has called the Temecula Valley home since time immemorial. After years of hardship and mistreatment by settlers, the Pechanga Indian Reservation was established by presidential executive order in 1882, affirming the Tribe’s sovereign rights and land-base. The Pechanga Band employs over 4,000 people and owns and operates the award-winning Pechanga Resort & Casino, the largest gaming facility in the western United States.