Intuit Dome features inspirational exhibit of 1,544 high school basketball jerseys

High school basketball jerseys from every team in California _ 1,544 and counting _ are being displayed at the Intuit Dome.
High school basketball jerseys from every team in California — 1,544 and counting — are being displayed on walls at the $1.8-billion Intuit Dome that opens in August. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

One by one, dozens of glass-framed high school basketball jerseys donated by almost every high school team in California — 1,544 and counting — are rising up on eight walls from the main level of the $1.8-billion Intuit Dome in Inglewood.

A person can peer at the walls trying to find their alma mater's jersey. Once discovered, they can pull out their camera and proudly snap a photo as if admiring the Mona Lisa.

"I love it," Damien High coach Mike LeDuc texted after receiving a photo of a Damien jersey next to a Corona Centennial jersey.

"Love it!" Harvard-Westlake coach David Rebibo texted after seeing a photo of the No. 15 jersey worn last season by Christian Horry mounted on another wall.

A tour was given this week of the soon-to-be completed Intuit Dome, where more than 2,500 workers are diligently trying to finish the massive entertainment project created by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer in time for its grand opening in August. You can imagine that what Ballmer has pulled off will be embraced and appreciated by Californians everywhere.

One can sense the passion and excitement this exhibit will have by seeing workers wearing hard hats stop to take a photo of a jersey from their alma maters. There were graduates from Belmont and Lincoln taking photos to show their wives.

This was the idea of Gillian Zucker, Clippers president of business operations and chief executive of Halo Sports & Entertainment. Ballmer was worried whether high schools throughout California would donate enough jerseys in time to be displayed. He told Zucker the task of acquiring more than 1,500 jerseys could be difficult and not to worry if she came up a little short.

"We're relentless," Zucker said. "We weren't going to stop until we got them all."

As of this week, there were only 21 schools that had yet to respond to the request of sending in their jerseys.

Lifts are being used to place the framed jerseys on the walls. The best viewing area will be the floor where there's suite access. It puts you closest, but the main level allows everyone to see. So far jerseys have gone up on three of the eight walls.

As if the jersey exhibit weren't enough evidence of the Clippers' commitment to community, there's also a regulation court within the Intuit Dome that can seat some 700 spectators and schools can use for games.

Outside, there's a regulation court that will be available for anyone to play pick-up games before or after Clippers games.

There's also a strong possibility of future championship high school basketball games being played at the 18,000-seat facility.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.