The gaming industry is projected to reach $545 billion by 2028, but it remains plagued by a lack of diversity. NBA player Dwight Howard, the Los Angeles Lakers franchise and Xbox are on a mission to change the narrative by empowering youth from underrepresented communities to chart paths in the space.
The gaming brand joined forces with Howard and the team to renovate part of a San Fernando Valley-based Boys & Girls Club. The reimagined room, dubbed the Dream Space, was transformed into a gaming lab equipped with custom Los Angeles Lakers-inspired gaming PCs, Xbox Series S consoles and artwork emblazoned on the walls. The space was created to inspire youth to use technology to shape the future they want to see.
The San Fernando Valley Boys & Girls Club serves over 2,500 children across several neighborhoods in the LA area. The Dream Space is part of a larger partnership fostered between the Lakers and Xbox.
Several NBA players are spearheading initiatives designed to educate youth about the different facets of technology. Howard’s teammate LeBron James teamed up with Crypto.com to create a blockchain technology-centered program for children.
Howard recently surprised the young Boys & Girls Club members to unveil the new space. “I am partnering with Xbox and the Lakers to produce this game lab just to give these kids a chance to dream and think big,” Howard shared in a statement. “Sports and gaming give kids a chance to dream. When they’re playing these games, and they see these players who grew up in similar situations, they’re like, ‘Man, you know, maybe I could be a LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony or Russell Westbrook.'”