Jr. Clippers Show Why It’s Her Time To Play

Jr. Clippers

In celebration of Women’s History Month and in conjunction with the Her Time To Play initiative, the LA Clippers hosted 50 female LA Y Jr. Clippers players for an all-girls clinic and panel, featuring Clippers Assistant Coach Natalie Nakase and WNBA all-time leading scorer and four-time Olympic gold medalist Diana Taurasi. ESPN reporter Holly Rowe served as the event’s moderator. 

Held at STAPLES Center, the 30-minute panel discussion was followed by a 50-minute skills clinic led by female LA Clippers staff members who played professional or collegiate basketball. 

“My dream came true,” said Ava, a 9-year-old Jr. Clippers player. “I’ve always wanted to step foot on the STAPLES Center basketball court floor. What a great experience!” 

Her Time To Play is a national grassroots initiative created by the WNBA and NBA to inspire the next generation of girls, ages 7-14, to play basketball in a positive and healthy way. Through sports, girls learn important life skills, such as teamwork, leadership and self-confidence. However, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation, twice as many girls drop of out sports, in comparison to boys, by age 14. As only 28% of youth sports coaches are women, Her Time To Play also aims to increase opportunities for women in coaching and athletic leadership across the youth sports landscape.

With a perfect ending to the day, our Jr. Clippers were treated to a 115-109 victory over the Indiana Pacers as each participant received two tickets to the Clippers game that evening. Jr. Clippers players were selected to give Clippers players high-fives as they headed onto the court while Vanessa Lopez of West Valley Family YMCA and Olivia Plunkett of Ketchum-Downtown YMCA were honored as the game’s Community Heroes. 

The LA Clippers are official partners of YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. To learn more about Jr. Clippers basketball, sign up online or visit your local branch

View photos from the event, courtesy of the LA Clippers.