California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

My internship with the Los Angeles Sparks

Photo Courtesy of Marissa Marshall/The Pioneer

Photo Courtesy of Marissa Marshall/The Pioneer

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

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This was an intense weekend.

People do not understand the behind-the-scenes work that goes into executing a professional basketball game. It’s much more than just the on-the-court contests.

On Sunday, the WNBA team I am interning with, the Los Angeles Sparks, played the Washington Mystics in a competitive back-and-forth game.

For this contest, I was assigned multiple duties, one of which was to help honor the night’s ‘Service Star’ where somebody who provides a service to the community is honored by the team.

For this, I have to get the President & COO of the Sparks, Christine Simmons, and the service star coordinated and ready to be in front of the camera, right underneath the home basket during the first timeout of the second quarter. Time is of the essence since it is an in-game ceremony.

It is crucial that I efficiently carry this duty out, because it happens on the court, and everybody has to get off the court quickly so the game can resume.

Another task of mine was being in charge of “Magic Moment.” At every Sparks home game, the Sparks have a one and a half minute “Magic Moment” during the third quarter break that honors somebody spreading a positive message or highlighting someone who is doing something positive for society.

Sunday’s moment honored Mali Nicole, a singer, songwriter and author. I was in charge of taking care of the entire ceremony and Nicole.

This meant meeting with Nicole and her manager, directing her to her seats, going over sound check and rehearsals, as well as making sure her performance was executed on time.  

Everything on game day must be done timely. Basketball game breaks are timed right down to the second, so when in charge of a duty, I have to be extremely punctual. If I am off by even a few seconds, it takes away from a performance or entertainment aspect that needs to be executed and could even delay the game.

Even though her performance didn’t begin until well into the third quarter, my duties begin far before that. I have no idea how fast or slow the break will last, and she only gets a minute and a half to perform during the segment.

Once the break hit, she was introduced to the crowd and performed, thankfully on time.

My last duty was to help conduct a giveaway to three women for a local beauty salon, where three people received $35 towards a salon visit.

I had to pick out three women at the beginning of the second quarter and with four minutes left I brought them down on the court at halftime where they received their gifts.

There are many different things that go into a basketball game beyond just the on-the-court game itself. Being an intern on the staff, I have to pay attention and be ready at all times.

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