DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Jamaul Huff takes great pride in coaching and teaching young men hoops in high school competition, junior leagues, and city youth recreation.

“I use basketball to teach life lessons and to bring people together,” he said.

What You Need To Know

  • All three of Staples Center's winter pro teams are back in action

  • Some of the arena's staff can once again return to work

  • Without fans, only a fraction of the staff can work like Jamaul Huff who is a security officer at Staples Center

Like many, however, the pandemic brought it all to a halt, with Huff losing all of his coaching jobs.

"I’m not really a person to focus on myself," he said. "I just saw how it impacted my family, and that’s what hurt."

Luckily, Huff still has been able to work, thanks to the full return of sports. He works as a security officer at Staples Center and was paid for months after the pandemic began. Now, with both the NBA and NHL out of the bubble, he has consistent pay.

“I’m very grateful,” said Huff. “I’m humbled and I owe everything to them for even allowing me to still work."

He has been with the arena for five years, witnessing some of sports and entertainment’s biggest moments. He is one of only a small fraction of employees at Staples Center able to work right now, as the venue is still without fans.

“I miss having 18,000 people in there, excited for a game, kids that never been able to see these people on TV,” Huff said. “There are so many programs where we bring inner city kids to see the games, and they’re not able to get that.”

Huff looks forward to the day he can return to teaching the game to the next generation.