Blake Griffin, Dream Center to host annual Back to School bash on Saturday

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Blake Griffin and the Dream Center on Saturday at 10 a.m. will play host to the annual Back to School Bash.

The event will benefit families from impoverished areas making under $15,000 annually. The areas include Echo Park, the Rampart District, Skid Row, Lincoln Heights, South Central L.A. and Watts.

Among the items to be distributed are 2,000 back packs, each filled with school supplies. Families can also receive free dental checkups, health screenings, haircuts, clothes and groceries.

Some of the fun stuff will include face painting, water and “slime” games, jumpers, a petting zoo and a science fair.

The Dream Center is a volunteer organization established in 1994. It is located at 2301 Bellvue Ave., Los Angeles, 90026.

 

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Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin to attend Team USA mini-camp

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

USA Basketball on Thursday announced that Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan will be among 34 players to participate in the Team USA mini-camp Aug. 11-13 in Las Vegas.

The roster is expected to include all 12 members of the 2014 gold-medal winning World Cup team as well as nine Olympic gold-medal winners – eight from the 2012 London Games team.

Paul won Olympic gold medals with Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Games as well as in London. Griffin was originally part of the 2012 team, but was forced to withdraw because of injury.

Head coach is Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

The mini-camp will feature practices on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 and will culminate with a showcase game between Blue and White teams Aug. 13 at Thomas & Mack Center.

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Clippers have officially signed guard Pablo Prigioni of Argentina

Prigioni on Joining "Perfect Team"

Pablo Prigioni/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

After agreeing to terms on a contract with guard Pablo Prigioni on July 22, the Clippers on Tuesday made his signing official.

He is expected to be paid for veteran’s minimum, which for Prigioni is $981,348. Prigioni, 38, has played three season in the NBA. His first two were spent with the New York Knicks. He started this past season with the Knicks before finishing with the Houston Rockets.

Prigioni, who is 6-foot-3, has career scoring and assist averages of 3.8 and 3.0, respectively. He previously played professionally in the Spanish and Argentine leagues.

A native of Rio Tercero, Argentina, Prigioni played in the 2008 Beijing Games with the Argentinian national team, which won the bronze medal. He also toiled for Team Argentina in the 2012 London Games.

 

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Clippers announce they have waived forward Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton/Photo  courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers on Saturday waived forward Jordan Hamilton. Hamilton, 24, is out of Dominguez High in Compton. He played in 14 games this  past season for the Clippers after being signed on Feb. 24. He averaged 2.7 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 8.7 minutes.

Hamilton has played in three other NBA seasons – two with Denver and another with Denver and Houston. He has a career scoring average of 5.5 points.

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Doc Rivers believes Clippers now match up with best in the West

DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan re-signed with the Clippers for four years and $88 million/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

The Clippers have made several additions to their roster during the off-season. The players brought on board include Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Cole Aldrich, Wesley Johnson and draft pick Branden Dawson.

That’s not to mention the Clippers re-signed DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers and are expected to soon make the signing of Pablo Prigioni official once he passes his physical, which, according to a league source is all that remains for that to be a done deal.

The question is, how do the Clippers now stack up with the best in the West? Golden State is NBA champion, San Antonio now has LaMarcus Aldridge and Oklahoma City figures to be very tough, providing it stays healthy.

Coach Doc Rivers believes his team is right there with anyone and everyone in the conference.

“Well, I think we’re better,” Rivers said. “And I think you have to be better. The West is better in a lot of ways. Oklahoma is better because they’ll be healthy. I think people are forgetting about them. San Antonio has gotten a lot better. But I think we have gotten a lot better as well. And Golden State, they’re the champs. So they’ve gotten better by winning it. Their swag, their confidence now will be hard. You have to knock that off.

“But the one thing I do look at this team is you look at the last two champions, we’ve beaten the last two in the playoffs. Two years ago we beat Golden State and last year we beat San Antonio. So the last two teams that have won titles we knocked them out in the last two years as well.”

That means a lot, Rivers said.

“So (that) tells us we’re right there,” he said. “But we’re not over the hump yet. And that’s what we have to get this year.”

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Branden Dawson talks about what Clippers fans can expect from him

Branden  Dawson

Branden Dawson/Photo courtesy of Michigan State

 

Branden Dawson, who was picked 56th in the recent NBA Draft, was asked at a recent news conference what Clippers fans can expect to see from him in the upcoming season.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward was not shy in his response.

“I’ll say definitely my energy, my toughness, and I’m just a team player,” Dawson said. “I come from Michigan State. Always been competitive, playing with (coach) Tom Izzo, it’s something that he instilled in me, just being competitive, playing with energy and I’m going to do whatever it takes.

“I love to win and I like being around a good group of guys. And I’m willing to do anything, so I’m excited.”

Dawson averaged 10.3 rebounds in the recently concluded Orlando Summer League, second only to the 11.7 averaged by Aaron Gordon of Orlando Blue.

 

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