TORRANCE — As kids streamed back to their classrooms, Edison Elementary principal Jayne Okazaki heard several of them scream, “Best recess ever!”
It wasn’t hard to see why. After all, professional basketball players aren’t exactly inconspicuous sprouting high above the heads of elementary schoolers.
As part of their yearlong adoption of Edison, the South Bay Lakers had players, coaches and staff join students for their lunchtime recess periods on March 19.
“Whenever you can get in the community and influence the younger generation it’s huge, because they’re next up,” South Bay guard Marcus Allen said. “Whenever we come, the energy is great from the faculty to the students. It’s an honor to be here. I think it’s more of an honor for us to be here than for them to have us.”
The players gave students some hoops pointers, but also took their game all across the playground, playing tag, tetherball, four-square and other games.
And after three separate recess sessions, the South Bay representatives returned to Edison’s cafeteria to have lunch and chat with the school’s student council.
“The kids really look up to them, and they just think it’s so amazing and awesome to actually meet a basketball player that they’ve seen on television,” Okazaki said. “They watch the games, and it’s just been really exciting for them to have this opportunity. The energy is just huge being around them.”