In an effort to encourage fans to live a healthy lifestyle, the National Basketball Association will kick off its NBA Fit Live Healthy Week tonight.
Players from all 30 NBA teams will be participating in NBA Fit Live Healthy Week events from now through Feb. 2, with many teams hosting “Fit Clinics” to emphasize the importance of exercise to children.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats both held Fit Clinics for students within the past week, in recognition of NBA Fit Live Healthy Week.
“You gotta build that foundation somewhere,” said reigning NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant, a member of the Thunder, during the team’s Fit Clinic. “You gotta go out there and teach them the basics, and then just let it come naturally.”
“When I was younger, I never had a NBA player come to my high school and teach me fundamentals,” said James Harden, Durant’s teammate. “It’s a great thing to give back.”
To recognize NBA Fit Live Healthy Week, players and teams will participate in grassroots programs and events, along with in-arena and online programming designed to encourage active, healthy lifestyles for children and their families, according to the NBA Cares website.
Leading the way during NBA Fit Live Healthy Week will be a team of current and former NBA and WNBA players, including Harden, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Derrick Rose, the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player.
“NBA FIT Live Healthy Week is a great way to help motivate fans of all ages to stay active and maintain a healthy diet,” said Griffin, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, in a statement. “As a professional athlete and an NBA FIT Team member, I know how important it is for me to exercise and eat well, and I encourage our fans to make healthy, active living a priority.”
To raise awareness of the initiative, all NBA players will also wear special NBA Fit shirts during shootaround this week.
On its website, the NBA provides 10 “Live Healthy Week” fit tips and some Live Healthy Week recipes, too.
Photo: Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden shoots against the Detroit Pistons in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City on Jan. 23. (Sue Ogrocki/AP)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.