ROLLING HILLS ESTATES (News4usonline) – Charity begins at home. So for the Los Angeles Chargers players, coaches and executives that meant getting in some good swings on the golf course in Rolling Hills Estates to benefit Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
The 4th Annual Los Angeles Chargers Invitational Golf Tournament saw head coach Brandon Staley, safety Derwin James Jr., quarterback Justin Herbert, linebacker Eric Kendricks, as well as former team stalwarts LaDainian Tomlinson and Marcellus Wiley, come out to the Rolling Hills Golf Club to show their support for the charitable cause.
“This is a big event,” Staley said. “It impacts the [Chargers] Impact Fund and a lot of special causes that are important to the club. It brings out I think the past and the present together. Hopefully, you’re here with the rest of the City of Los Angeles. It’s just one of these cool events that kind of get you started for your season ahead.”
Kendricks is new to all of this. After spending eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings after starring locally at UCLA, Kendricks was just excited to be part of the festivities.
“Any time you play some golf for some good things in the community, I think that’s a win-win,” Kendricks said. “So, we’re here for the Chargers Impact Fund. It should be a good day. You’ve got a lot of people supporting as well. So, let’s do it.”
When asked about the status of his golf game, Kendricks shrugged off the question about the same way he dismisses ball carriers.
“You hit those shots that keep you interested in it, but then everything else is mostly sporadic,” Kendricks said. “We’ll see. I’ll hit a couple of bombs here and there…putts are going to be very minimum today, so I need someone else to come through for me today.”
Wiley, who played three seasons (2001, 2002, 2003) with the (then San Diego) Chargers during his NFL career, sounded like a guy who was eager to get out on the golf course to test his skills. He says he got his first introduction to the game at an early age when his father was golf buddies with one of the legends of the game.
“My first sport ever was golf…five years young,” Wiley said. “I was at Rancho Golf Course. I remember my father, myself, and Calvin Peete if you guys know anything about golf? My dad was out there…and Smokey Robinson.
“Those are the only guys I remember. And then I hated golf from maybe a month after that. I hit a 40-footer, and I started screaming like it was another sport. Different culture in golf. When you make big putts, you’re supposed to do the Tiger [Woods] pump, right? You’re not supposed to yell. It’s in my blood. It’s in my DNA, but I haven’t tapped into it in a while.”
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is regarded as the preeminent facility for children’s health care in all of Los Angeles County as well as Southern California. With many Chargers players participating in the sporting and philanthropic endeavor, it shows how important this annual event is for the team, Herbert said.
“It means a lot to have all these guys show up and give their support…as many as 40, 50 guys to come out here is great to see,” Herbert said.
Lead/Feature photo of Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley
News4usonline is a multi-ethnic driven website focused on providing readers with an alternate view on social issues, sports, lifestyle news, entertainment and culture as it relates to the various communities we cover. The end goal for News4usonline is to provoke thought as well as to uplift, inspire and encourage through artful storytelling.