The Sparks hosted the basketball clinic in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Los Angeles Sparks recently hosted a skills development Clinic and Q&A Session at the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach. Sparks guards Lexie Brown and Zia Cooke were in attendance to answer questions about basketball and participate in the clinic.

The clinic was created to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. It also exposed the Sparks players to the city where they will be having their early home games.

“I’m looking forward to getting out to different areas, bring them out of L.A. a little bit in preparation for our first five games which will be at the pyramid,” said Sparks vice president Natalie White. “We wanted to bring them out to introduce them to the Long Beach community.”

Youth participated in teamwork drills (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Jr. Sparks coach San Dixon facilitated the clinic. Brown and Cooke cheered the young girls on and participated in drills. The youth worked on their running, passing, and shooting skills.

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“It’s bigger than basketball for me,” Brown said. “I feel like these young girls need to see us off the court. We’re just regular people, we want to be here; we want to spend time with them.”

Dixon also administered teamwork-related drills where the youth broke up into groups. Each group got into a single-file line and would have to keep the person in front from tagging the last person in line. White noted the level of effort Dixon puts into training youth.

Sparks guard Zia Cooke (left) participated in dribbling drills with a young participant (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“She does her research; we’ve tried to make sure that the drills are interactive, they’re fun, they’re creative,” White said. “We’re bringing together hundreds of girls that have never met each other.”

The youth partnered up to do dribbling drills, Brown and Cooke partnered with the youth as they practiced various dribbling styles.

“It’s what it’s all about, especially for me giving back is something I’ve always done,” Cooke said. “For me to be on the highest level in the game and be able to give back to young girls, it’s something I’ve always wanted.”

Coach San Dixon helps youth with drills (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Q&A session took place after the clinic. Brown mentioned how she wants the young girls to ask her about things on  and off the court.

“It does not have to be just about basketball,” Brown said. “This is the vehicle and we’re using it to get to as many and reach as many people as possible.”

The Sparks battle the Atlanta Dream in their season opener at the Long Beach State Pyramid on May 15.