Staying fit was the motive on Wednesday August 21 at Barclays Center, when the Brooklyn Nets teamed up with Coca-Cola to host a basketball clinic, Get the Ball Rolling, at which over 50 children, mostly high school students, participated in a Q & A with the Brooklyn Nets center and former all-star Brook Lopez, as well as a variety of basketball drills.
The children, from the Boys & Girls Club’s Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse in Flatbush, received free t-shirts and discussed the importance of staying active during a time where most kids are spending more time indoors.
“I want to stress the importance of healthy living and being active. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a mother who swam at an Olympic level and a father who played baseball,” said Lopez. “From day one, they got us out and about, playing sports. My brother and I played everything growing up, like volleyball, track, basketball and water polo. It made being active and staying fit fun.”
“Statistics show us that this generation is significantly less active than the previous one. Get the Ball Rolling clinic is Coca Cola’s summer initiative which is designed to encourage millions of people to get moving by supporting programs that focus on physical activity,” said LaVerne Harley of Coca-Cola.
After the attendees asked Lopez a variety of questions, Lopez and the children made their way to the arena’s practice court where the Nets’ center and trainers held exercises. The athletes in training partook of shooting drills, one-on-one matchups and dribbling contests as well as plenty of running.
In between the practices, Lopez, who described himself as a kid at heart, answered every question the kids had, from what are the toughest NBA opponents to his recent recovery from injury.
“I’ve been spending all summer rehabbing. I’ve been pretty laid up since January with protective boots on both feet since I messed up a tendon in my left ankle and broke my right foot,” said Lopez, who appears slimmer than past seasons. “You could only sleep and watch so much TV. I tried to stay positive.” Lopez is confident he’ll be ready for the upcoming season.
Lopez also gave advice to those who may be hesitant to continue physical activity. “It’s just important for you all to find the thing you enjoy doing the most and do that,” he said. “In terms of being physical, it’s about finding that one sport you enjoy. If you like to watch it, go out and do it. Start off at whatever level you can handle.”