California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

My summer internship with the Los Angeles Sparks

Illustration by Dina Arakcheyeva/The Pioneer

Illustration by Dina Arakcheyeva/The Pioneer

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

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A few weeks ago I received the opportunity to intern with the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks in the game operations and entertainment field.

On my first day, I felt grateful and proud to be introduced deeper into the sports world, a field I hope to find a career in someday.

Walking into the iconic Staples Center was refreshing and instilled happiness within me. It was a little overwhelming to realize where I was, the home of legends. The energy was everything I hoped for and more; there is a buzz and electricity you can feel. There is a lot of work to do, but it is all centered around one thing: the game.

It was surreal to be a part of the game execution instead of just observing from the stands like I normally do as a fan. I was actually a part of the team and the league.

My goals of the internship were to learn, create relationships, network and enjoy the opportunity. I’ve seen people let chances like this go unappreciated — they didn’t value the opportunities in front of them — and I did not want that to happen with my internship. I wanted to walk in every day with a sense of appreciation because I know many people wanted the opportunity I was given, and I never want to have a sense of entitlement in anything I do.

Humbleness goes a long way, and I am trying to cherish this chance to intern with a WNBA team.

On the first day I met all of the players, coaches, broadcasters, the president of the Sparks and even the Los Angeles Clippers star point guard Chris Paul, who attended the game with his daughter and mother. Everyone in the building was welcoming and happy to be working, which is not always the case in work environments.

My main duty is to help execute the entertainment segment of the game. This includes preparing performers, including national anthem singers and dancers. It is my job to help make sure everything is executed on time, including the jump ball at the beginning of the game.

I also shadow broadcasters, which is a priceless experience because my ultimate career goal is to be one. I was able to get a taste of everything within the first few days while watching the game, working and having fun at the same time.

Sports have always held a special place in my heart and have been a vital asset to my life. I played soccer for nearly 12 years and grew up watching basketball. Since then, I’ve been attached to everything sports-related. What better place to be in than the legendary Staples Center, especially when sports are your passion?

I could definitely get used to this work environment; I feel like I was meant for this.

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California State University East Bay
My summer internship with the Los Angeles Sparks