Clippers to scrimmage at the Galen Center

The Los Angeles Clippers will kick off the 2012-13 NBA season with a scrimmage open to the public at the Galen Center on Oct. 3, the team announced Wednesday.

Coach Vinny Del Negro will lead his team through a training camp practice that will conclude with an intra-squad scrimmage scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Galen Center serves as the home venue for USC’s basketball and volleyball teams.

The scrimmage will be the second opportunity for fans to see professional basketball at the Galen Center in less than a week, as the Los Angeles Sparks host the San Antonio Silver Stars in the WNBA Western Conference Semi-finals on Thursday.

The Clippers finished 40-26 last year and beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Both forward Blake Griffin and guard Chris Paul were elected starters in the 2012 NBA All-Star game.

It will be the first opportunity for fans to see the new offseason additions, including guard Jamal Crawford, who averaged 13.9 points per game for the Portland Trail Blazers last year, and veteran forward Grant Hill. The Clippers also acquired a trio of former Los Angeles Lakers in Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf.

Clippers assistant coach Robert Pack played for two seasons at USC. Former USC forward Nick Young, who played for the Clippers last season, is now with the Philadelphia 76ers. Two Clippers, Barnes and Ryan Hollins, went to UCLA.

The Galen Center’s doors open at 5:15 p.m. and close at 7:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged by officials to arrive early to avoid lines, as last year’s scrimmage drew more than 8,000 fans. Fans can enter through either the north or south entrances off Figueroa Street, and parking in USC lots will cost $20.

The Clippers play their first exhibition game on Oct. 6 against the Denver Nuggets in Las Vegas, and begin the regular season on Oct. 31 against the Memphis Grizzlies.