Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, Nemanja Nedovic & Marreese Speights Host Step Up Your Game Basketball Clinic At Oracle Arena February 11

On Tuesday, February 11, the Golden State Warriors launched the new Step Up Your Game initiative with a Warriors Community Basketball Clinic at Oracle Arena for students from local Hayward High School and San Lorenzo High School. Warriors players Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, Nemanja Nedovic and Marreese Speights attended the clinic to run students through basketball drills and to motivate them to work hard, make good choices and live a well-balanced lifestyle.

“It’s our responsibility as professional athletes and role models in the community to share our experiences with these young people so they can learn from us and succeed,” said Green.

After arriving at Oracle Arena and enjoying a meal at the Courtside Club, courtesy of Levy Restaurants, the students threw on their Step Up Your Game t-shirts and grabbed a courtside seat to hear from Warriors big man Marreese Speights.

“To step your game up and do great things you need to do the right things every day and not mess with the stuff some of your friends are doing,” said Speights. “Skipping class, skipping school, getting in trouble won’t help you in life.”

The students then divided up into basketball stations on-court, working on their shooting form with Speights, practicing passing and moving without the ball with Festus Ezeli, and executing footwork drills with Warriors Youth Basketball staff.

“It’s important for us as leaders in the community to inspire our young people through our words and our actions,” said Ezeli.

Warriors forward Draymond Green and first-year guard Nemanja Nedovic had some fun with the students, engaging them in a basketball-themed Simon Says game and a basketball race called Steal The Bacon.

“We all like to have fun on the team, and it’s great to spend time with some kids and put a smile on their faces,” said Nedovic.

After a Q&A session with Green and Nedovic, the students received a Warriors goodie bag and boxed lunch, courtesy of Levy Restaurants.

“It’s a thrill for these students to not only play on the Warriors home court, but to learn from NBA players like this is an unforgettable experience,” said HealthCorps Active Alliance Manager Lily Ebey-Field.

This is the first event of the Warriors new partnership with private, statewide health foundation The California Endowment. Step Up Your Game is designed to provide Bay Area youth with fun activities while also encouraging and motivating them to pursue their goals by working hard, making good choices and living a well-balanced lifestyle.

“These students are so thankful to be involved in the Step Up Your Game program and will be talking about this for a long time,” said Hayward High School HealthCorps Coordinator Amaria Arnett.

Step Up Your Game is a project of the Active Alliance, which is a partnership with the NBA’s four California teams, Dr. Oz's non-profit HealthCorps and the California Endowment. The Active Alliance’s goal is to reach over 10,000 California kids in 2014 to measurably improve the health of children in their communities through exercise, nutrition and education.