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Beyond the Rings and Trophies

Jordan Farmar of the Los Angeles Lakers writes of his experience visiting the White House on Monday and the importance of giving back.

Monday was not an average day on the road for us. We’re in the middle of a long eight game road trip and flew into Washington, D.C. late Sunday night after tough game in Toronto. Fortunately, Monday had a couple opportunities for us that kept the team’s energy high despite the minimal sleep.

In the morning, we had the chance to team up with President Obama’s United We Serve initiative and City Year Washington, DC to invite about 30 kids from Stanton Elementary School over to our practice. They piled into the gym and got to watch us do one of our team shooting competitions before we brought them onto the court for a mini clinic.

Every summer I host a basketball camp for kids in LA. Working with youth and teaching them what I can is a big part of my life. So it was a lot fun to take these kids through some drills working on ball handling skills, shooting, and other fundamentals of the game. Afterward, we made it a point to talk with them about the importance of healthy eating and an active lifestyle. As professional athletes, it’s our job to take care of our bodies. But it’s just as important for these 10 and 11 year olds to eat right and get some regular exercise if they want to do well in school—and in life. Kids don’t always connect the two, so it was a good chance for us to reinforce this message.


After the clinic, we had to quickly clean up and rush over to the White House where the day got even better. President Obama was going to formally congratulate us on our 2009 NBA championship. It was my first time at the White House and I was amazed to be surrounded by such history. You can see how every president puts their personal touch on the place, like the Obamas’ swing set just outside the Oval Office. And as an animal lover, I just had to go play with the First Family’s dog Bo when I saw him near the Rose Garden.

In all, it was a huge honor to visit the White House and interact with the President. He comes across as a real down-to-earth, regular guy who knows basketball and loves the game like we do.

Jordan Farmar at Lakers Kids Clinic

Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar signs an autograph for a DC student at a youth clinic the team put on before visiting the White House. January 25, 2010. (by Jason Djang, White House New Media)

Jordan Farmar is a guard with the 2009 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers.