A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN
On April 3, 2016, HS student Naiema Jefferson spent a night shadowing New York Knicks Fan Development Associate Cherise George around MSG during a night game. Below she talks about the unique experience and the impact it had on her:
When I first heard about the opportunity to job shadow Cherise George at Madison Square Garden, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I was just going to Madison Square Garden to sit all day in an office, but it actually wasn’t like that at all. This opportunity had me on the field—hands-on—interacting and communicating as if I worked there.
When I first got there and I met Cherise, after speaking we noticed that we had a lot of similarities. We play basketball, we both tore our ACLs, and we’re both young black women. Meeting Cherise was a really good experience for me because I had the chance to meet new people that helped me gain confidence to step out of my comfort zone to try different things and create connections for the future.
The most memorable thing that happened to me that night was when I first got there and got to sit down with Cherise. She told me about herself and what she does, and I felt very comfortable when speaking with her. Cherise works on bringing the Knicks organization to different communities and she helps kids that either can’t afford to come to Madison Square Garden or just never been before. She gives kids a chance to gain skills and experience to work in a basketball environment with people that know the game.
The day I went to work at MSG, Cherise told me her job was to bring a young basketball team filled with boys and girls to play a 5-on-5-basketball game during halftime of the Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers game. After looking at the kids that were picked to play, you can tell that these kids were so excited to be there and were happy to experience playing a sport they love. They wore Junior Knicks uniforms, they had substitutes, they got to sit on the Knicks and Pacers bench, and they had the whole crowd watching them play. It was almost like getting a real glimpse of playing in an NBA game. These are the opportunities that kids around the world won’t have but because Cherise has a big heart she helps kids get this experience.