Dwayne Barnes, one of thirty New Orleans Job Corps Center students who worked at the NBA All-Star Game Jam Session last weekend, says it is an experience he won’t ever forget. It’s not every day that you have a brush with greatness. Dwayne was in elite company. He saw the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis stroll past him.
“I was working as a security guard at the practices,” says Dwayne. “I saw D-Wade and LeBron- at Smoothie King Arena. I saw all of them. This is the first time in my life that I was close to NBA players. They had the Slam Dunk contest, 3-point contest, the skills challenge, the D-League-they had all kinds of activities for kids and adults.”
NBA Jam Session featured non-stop basketball action, where fans could shoot, slam, dribble and drive all day, competing against their friends in skills challenges, and collect free autographs from NBA and WNBA players and legends. In addition to appearances by top NBA players, celebrities, mascots and dance teams, Jam Session’s Sprint Arena played host to a variety of basketball competitions, including the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the official NBA All-Star Practice.
Terrence Cordova, a Carpentry student, served as an usher over the weekend. His job was to keep the aisles clean and traffic free. “I saw (comedian) Kevin Hart. He’s so little,” Terrence said. “The slam dunk contest was awesome and so was the three-point shootout for the developmental league players.” Terrence worked the Celebrity Game as well which included Michael Jordan, ESPN’s Mike &Mike, Jalen Rose and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Terrence’s classmate Gary Williams also served as an usher and a ticket taker over the three-day event. “I had a great experience. I got to meet a couple of basketball players and some actors. Seeing Snoop Dogg was something I’ll never forget.” Snoop Dogg performed at halftime along with New Orleans legends, Trombone Shorty and Dr. John. Hall of Famers Earth, Wind & Fire were also on the halftime bill.