As several Las Vegas high school students arrived to Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on Thursday, they began to look in awe around the building the Silver and Black call home.
They knew little as to why they were there, but things became more clear after Head Coach Josh McDaniels appeared in the team room.
With Bonanza High School, Legacy High School, Western High School and Valley High School players in attendance, McDaniels presented the four schools with a Nike equipment donation for their upcoming seasons.
Youth football means a lot to McDaniels, who's the son of a legendary Ohio high school football coach, Thom McDaniels. The Raiders coach told the young students he can remember following his father around on a football field from as young as 4 years old. Youth football still plays a huge role in his family, with his son playing high school football and his daughters getting into flag football.
"It took a village when we were young to help us have resources and things to help us play the game of football and improve as players," said McDaniels. "So just to have the opportunity to not only give back – not only to the game, but to our community here in Vegas – is a pretty special feeling."
After the equipment was presented, the students and their coaches were given a tour of the facility, seizing the moment to view the Raiders' weight room and the lockers of their favorite Raiders players.
Adein Curtis, running back for Western's girl's flag football team, was elated with the equipment donation. She described how useful it will be for her and her teammates to "keep warm and look good" on windy gamedays in the fall.
"It was out of this world," Curtis said of touring the Raiders headquarters. "Kind of shook that I came here, my first time coming here. I would say it was amazing. I'm a fan of Josh McDaniels."
With the Raiders staff fully engulfed in the NFL Draft two weeks away, McDaniels was in great spirits as he spoke with the young football players. He treats this not as an obligation, but a desire to continue advancing the game of football for the next generation.
"It's a good feeling to look at the faces of those young kids and know that you're giving them an opportunity to have some things they maybe otherwise wouldn't have," said McDaniels. "As much as we can do that, that's better for the game, that's better for our community."
The Las Vegas Raiders and Nike teamed up to donate $5,000 in equipment to the Bonanza High School and Valley High School football teams and the Legacy High School and Western High School flag football teams.