Lakers announce new practice facility named UCLA Health Training Center

The Los Angeles Lakers announced the naming rights of their new training facility on Wednesday. The building, set to open next summer, will be dubbed the UCLA Health Training Center.

Replacing the Toyota Sports Center which the Lakers currently share with the Los Angeles Kings, the new facility will also be in El Segundo. The D-Fenders will share the new building with the Lakers.

Lakers’ co-owner and team president Jeanie Buss on the new facility, via Lakers.com:

“We’re extremely pleased and excited about our new partnership with UCLA Health. Their innovative, forward-thinking, research-oriented medical team and facilities are unsurpassed, and their focus on not only treating, but preventing, injuries will translate into the ultimate goal of helping our players perform better on-court and to prolonging their professional careers. In addition, UCLA Health’s community relations and community commitment views and philosophies are so closely aligned to those of the Lakers that they make us perfect partners to further those goals and programs.”

Buss’ excitement was matched by the rest of the Lakers. Head coach Luke Walton believes the new building, three times larger than the Toyota Sports Center, will help him and his staff in helping their young players develop:

“This facility will provide me and my staff with all the tools we need to maximize the development of our players and help them reach their full potential. From my perspective, having been both a player and now a coach in this league, training centers can create productive teaching and learning environments, while also offering the comforts players desire. I think the UCLA Health Training Center will achieve both. When finished, I expect our player and staff accommodations to be unparalleled in the NBA.”

All seven of the Lakers’ draft picks over the past three seasons were present at the press conference to unveil the naming rights. D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, Jr., Anthony Brown, and Ivica Zubac all sat in the front row and later toured the facility.

Russell, who is poised for a possible breakout season after a tumultuous rookie year, spoke to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes about how the new facility can help him and the team:

“It’s more than helpful,” said guard D’Angelo Russell. “The 82-game season, plus more including the playoffs, is wear and tear on your body. It starts with the rehab and trying to keep your body 100 percent before every practice, before every game, before every road trip. [It’s great] just knowing that you have the best people going into the practice facility every day to help your body do that for you.”

Construction on the $80 million facility was started in September, 2015. The team released a video showcasing some of its features earlier this summer.

The new training facility should help provide the Lakers a great space for practice and training. Mirroring the theme of the summer, it will be part of the new culture implement throughout the organization. Creating a great working condition is part of the goal for the Lakers and their new coaching staff. The UCLA Health Training Center can be a part of that.

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