A group of girls from the Boys and Girls Club dance with Warriors cheerleaders
Youth and Warriors cheerleaders. Photo by William Jenkins June 3 2022

The Warriors may have lost the first game of the 2022 NBA championship, but on Friday, two teammates from the 2016 team came to the Mission to inaugurate a freshly painted room for teenagers at the Boys and Girls Club at 16th and Guerrero streets. 

“Kids are the future leaders.” said Zaur (Zaza) Pachulia, former player and current front-office member for the team.

Neither Pachulia or retired guard Shaun Livingston had much to say about Thursday’s loss.  

Brandon Schneider, president and CEO of the Warriors, offered hope: “Last night was just one game; we’ll do four of the next six,” he said. 

Rob Connolly, Mayor Breed, Adam Silver and Shaun Livingston. Photo by William Jenkins, June 3, 2022.

The audience, along with the kids, erupted in applause and chanted, “Let’s Go Warriors” as everyone moved upstairs to see the rooms.

Mayor London Breed agreed: “We’re going to bring home the bacon.”

The Club has been in the community for 114 years. Breed, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and other city officials and members of the Warriors organization were also there to celebrate the new space.

In April, the team unveiled a refurbished basketball court at Willie Mays Clubhouse in Bayview, along Kiska Road. While originally only sponsoring the renovation of the Middle School room at the Girls and Boys Club on Guerrero, the NBA, along with other partners, helped with the renovation of both the Middle School and High School rooms.

Breed, along with Silver, posed with the kids who had bright smiles and made W’s with their hands.

Mayor Breed and Adam Silver. Photo by William Jenkins, June 3, 2022.

“For any business, regardless of what industry you’re in, part of giving back to the community is part of who you are, and there’s an expectation from your customers that you’re always going to be thinking about giving back,” Silver said. “I hope that people look at the NBA, and maybe it’s an example for some businesses that say, ‘I see how they do it; maybe we can do the same thing.’”

Back downstairs at the “fun zone,” situated in a field of grass, a dozen kids danced along with bedazzled Warrior cheerleaders. Pachulia stood near the basketball hoop, passing basketballs to young people shooting them.

“These kids are on the right path, because they’re curious. And curiosity is one of the most powerful things for the youth to have.”

Youth at the Boys and Girls Club SF. Photo by William Jenkins, June 3, 2022.
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Intern Reporter. William moved to the Bay Area from Nashville to pursue a Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley. He's covered police reform in Oakland and also investigates correctional officer misconduct at the Investigative Reporting Program. You'll mostly see him behind a camera. Follow him on Twitter @WilliamJenk_

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