Childhood basketball courts: Where it began for Clippers players
Years before they stepped onto the pristine basketball courts as millionaires and practiced a game whose rhythms had long since become a daily routine, the kids and teens who would one day become Clippers stood in the driveway of their parents’ house. Or a community center. Or an outdoor park.
From a humble, homegrown start, a journey to the highest level of the sport began.
Watching the Clippers play basketball now is seeing a group of players trying to remember a small encyclopedia of information: an opponent’s tendencies, the movements of their many plays, how to decide when to be cautious or direct with a teammate speaks. What hasn’t been lost in all of the accumulated basketball knowledge are the memories of where their paths into the NBA began.
“Boys will always remember their first basket, their first court,” said center Ivica Zubac. “This is something special.”
From the start of the season, The Times asked each clipper to describe the baskets they spent most of their time practicing and playing on during their childhood days, where their passion for the game deepened. Those driveways, junior high gyms, and outdoor parking lots don’t compare to the NBA-caliber rims and courts they play on now — but without them, many players agreed, they might not be in the NBA.
“Probably the gym that made me who I am,” security guard Norman Powell said of a favorite spot in San Diego.
In their own words, each Clippers player, along with coach Tyronn Lue, describes the places “where it all began,” said point guard Reggie Jackson, “my dear.”
https://www.latimes.com/sports/clippers/story/2023-02-03/clippers-players-coach-tyronn-lue-childhood-basketball-courts Childhood basketball courts: Where it began for Clippers players