All-star players and LA students join forces in volunteerism

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Corey Moore/KPCC

Former NBA All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo visits with Virgil Middle School near Downtown Los Angeles.

The NBA All-Star weekend kicked off Friday in Los Angeles. Current and former basketball stars fanned out across Southern California for community service events, including former All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo, who visited Virgil Middle School near Downtown LA to help with a school cleanup project.

The 7-footer from the Republic of Congo also delivered a pep talk.

"We came here for one thing - because we do care," Mutombo said. "We care for our future generation, which is our children. And we understand this is the place where our children are getting an education and we want to make sure that this place is the best place for them to come, to learn as much as they can, to have fun."

The NBA and its players have donated more than $150 million through its charity "NBA Cares," the sponsor of Friday's volunteer event.

The All-Star Game happens Sunday at the Staples Center.

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