The kids couldn’t believe their eyes when they walked onto the newly refurbished basketball court Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the John & Alice Wallace Petrolane Center.

Sure, they knew they would be seeing a new court. But they didn’t expect to see entertainment superstar Snoop Dogg and four-time NBA Champion Stephen Curry.

Emcee Big Boy, radio host and DJ, introduced the celebrities, who entered the court to cheers and applause from the kids and invited guests.

“This is the same court where I learned to do layups,” Snoop Dogg, 51, told his wide-eyed fans, including some members of his Snoop’s Youth Basketball League.

Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, Jr., was grew up in Central Long Beach near the Petrolane Center. He was a member of the Boys & Girls Club there when he was pre-teenager.

“This is the place where I learned how to play basketball, play football, be active in the community,” he said. “It’s where I learned to rap, talk and just be me basically. To come back and see the kids doing different things, trying to be better than we were – that’s what it’s all about.”

Curry told the kids that he was honored to be there and thanked Snoop for his support of the club.

“This is the beginning of, hopefully, an amazing journey for you, not just in sports but in life,” he said to the youngsters. “We want to provide a space where you can come enjoy yourself and get lost in the fun, lost in the competition, invest in yourselves. We want to provide that for you guys through Curry Brand.”

Also joining in the unveiling was Willie McGinest, a Poly High graduate and all-pro NFL linebacker.

And then the fun began.

The kids broke up into groups and proceeded to run through a series of basketball drills. Curry and Snoop displayed their own skills while the kids dribbled, passed, shot and dunked around the court for more than an hour.

  • Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry help celebrate the unveiling of...

    Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry help celebrate the unveiling of a refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry with the Long Beach Boys...

    Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry with the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry help celebrate the unveiling of...

    Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry help celebrate the unveiling of a refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg playing basketball with the kids of the Long...

    Snoop Dogg playing basketball with the kids of the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg playing basketball with the kids of the Long...

    Snoop Dogg playing basketball with the kids of the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Steph Curry playing basketball with the kids of the Long...

    Steph Curry playing basketball with the kids of the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry playing basketball at the refurbished...

    Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry playing basketball at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry playing basketball at the refurbished...

    Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry playing basketball at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry with the Long Beach Boys...

    Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry with the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

  • Steph Curry dunking a basketball with the Long Beach Boys...

    Steph Curry dunking a basketball with the Long Beach Boys & Girls Club at the refurbished basketball gym at the Wallace Petrolane Center in Martin Luther Park. (Photo by Courtney Pierson, Under Armour)

Curry’s jaw dropped when one of the kids, a diminutive 8-year-old, dribbled past him with a basketball in each hand, looking like, well, a young Steph Curry.

The older Curry responding by giving the kid a high five.

In other demonstrations, Curry sank some of his trademark shots from three-point range and defended against his youthful opponents — some of whom made their shots, despite Curry’s defense.

Whenever that happened, Curry rewarded them with a broad smile and a hearty high five.

Later, as he left the court, Curry said: “Those kids were unbelievable. They are the best.”

Not to be outdone, Snoop nailed shots from all over the court and demonstrated relentless defense against some of the taller teens trying to dunk on him.

As he left the court after the strenuous drills, a perspiring Curry said, “Those kids were unbelievable. They are the best.”

Snoop couldn’t help but agree.

After some group photographs, Snoop and Curry thanked the kids and signed autographs.

David Reyes, 11, a member of the Wallace Petrolane Center, borrowed a reporter’s pen and went hunting for autographs. He came away beaming, proudly displaying Snoop Dogg’s autograph on one of his shoes. Derrion Kennedy, 10, also snagged a Snoop Dogg autograph on his shoe.

With the constant drumbeat of basketballs providing the soundtrack, the kids were surrounded by inspirational murals created by Damion Scott of Brooklyn, N.Y.

A towering image of Martin Luther King dominated one wall. Others displayed such inspiring words as “believe,” “teamwork,” “reach higher,” and “change the game for good.”

Don Rodriguez, CEO of the Long Beach Boys & Girls Clubs, said Snoop and Curry had created  unforgettable memories for the kids. “This was a terrific gift to these kids. What a great day for everyone.”

Rodriguez estimated it cost $250,000 to refurbish the gym.

Robert Renteria, Long Beach Boys & Girls Clubs president, thanked Snoop, Curry and Under Armour for helping support and inspire the kids.

“Just seeing the joy on the faces of all those children,” he said, “makes everything worthwhile.”

California

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