Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace created and hosted the first annual Gradelo Celebrity Basketball Game over the weekend. The inaugural event was held at University High School in West Los Angeles.
Gradelo is a new social networking app created by the one-time champion for basketball players and enthusiasts. The celebrity game was part of the Gradelo Basketball Festival, an all-day event Metta founded.
It was comprised of the Lakers Foundation Youth Summer Camp, a high school basketball tournament, a dunk competition, dance and drumline competitions, along with an outdoor carnival full of rides, games, food, contests and more.
All proceeds generated benefitted the Los Angeles Unified School District; specifically to support sports programs and educational needs at their high schools.
“We’re connecting education with celebrities,” World Peace told LakersNation.com. “We’re trying to show that celebrities do like to give back. Sometimes they don’t have the access or the know-how.
“What Gradelo is doing is, connecting celebrities with education and wellness. Yes, I’m a founder of Gradelo, but that’s not the reason why it’s working how it’s working. It’s because of everybody that is involved. I’m really appreciative of everybody that’s involved.”
World Peace has long been active in the community and used his platform to provide for others, particularly so in Los Angeles since his first season with the Lakers.