Pau Gasol to launch fundraiser to address childhood obesity

Pau Gasol will enter next season with the Lakers looking different, and it goes beyond presumably having a larger offensive role stemmed from Dwight Howard’s departure.

The Spaniard forward plans to shave his beard soon after losing a competition to his brother, Marc, of the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a initiative with his self-named foundation. Pau and Marc coached two different teams representing their respective cities in what was called “The Healthy Competition,” a contest that tracked the team’s fitness level using gifted Nike Fuelbands.

It remains to be seen how quickly Pau will grow back his beard. But at least one fan will find out first hand. Pau and Marc are raising funds through Prizeo with the beginning price at $3 to help reduce childhood obesity. Donators will then enter a pool to meet Marc and Pau in Los Angeles on Sept. 27, including a basketball workout followed by lunch.

“We hope to build a community around these critical children’s health issues,” Gasol said in a statement to this newspaper. “Our Prizeo campaign is an important first step in reaching out to our fans to start a dialogue which we hope will lead to healthier dietary and exercise decisions in youth.”

The prizes go beyond possibly meeting the Gasol brothers depending on much money donors spend. They will hand out personalized items to donors that spend at least $10 (e-card), $25 (video message), $100 (signed photo), $400 (handwritten thank-you card by either Marc or Pau), $1000 (autographed shoe by either Marc or Pau) and $2,000 (autographed shoes from both Gasols). The top donator will received an autographed basketball. The contest will end Sept. 13.

“We are excited about our partnership with Prizeo because one of the best ways to reach and engage with our fans is through social media,” Marc Gasol said in a statement. “So it only makes sense that we would use a highly social, online campaign to make our fans aware of our mission with the Gasol Foundation and give them a chance to join us in our work to reduce childhood obesity.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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