My Day with the Bobcats

Amanda Hall
Special to
March 23, 2013

Video: Y Achiever's Interview with MJ | Gallery: Y Achiever's Photo Gallery | Cats Care Day of Service Central

Thanks to the Bobcats and Y Achievers, May 21, 2013 will be a day I will never forget. Starting out as a secret, I was unaware of what was going on or what even to expect. On the way to West Charlotte High School, Ms. Mac, my Y Achievers director finally filled me in on the events to come. After learning that I would be spending my day alongside Chairman Michael Jordan and the entire Bobcat’s staff, I sat in awe. I was so grateful to have been chosen out of a number of teens and even more grateful for the experience I would gain. Ms. Mac also informed me I would be shadowing the media crew for the Bobcats. Having some interest in journalism and communications, shadowing Director of Interactive Media Matt Rochinski, Social Media Coordinator Eryn Gradwell and NBA photographer Brock Williams-Smith would help me decide what exactly I would like to pursue as a career in the future.

When we arrived at West Charlotte, I saw everything it took to put such a huge event together. There were people setting up the stage, people in charge of directing and media everywhere I turned. As time passed, I grew more and more excited. Not only would I be interviewing Michael Jordan, but I would be meeting several prominent people of the Charlotte community throughout the day. As my excitement grew, so did my nerves. Reminding myself of what a once-in-a-lifetime chance this was, I had to just keep calm and carry on.

Before the first presentation, a press conference was held to get Mr. Jordan’s view on all that was taking place. Cameras flashed, questions were asked and I stood in amazement of what life in the public eye must be like. Mr. Jordan was very kind and calm and seemed to have a genuine interest for the children of the Charlotte community. During the conference I asked Mr. Jordan why my education was important to him and why he and the Bobcats decided to invest in me and students like me. He smiled and said it was because he wants to see us kids where he was standing. He wants my generation to be successful and become all we can be. He went on to say that with guidance and support from the community, children would receive better opportunities leading to greater success stories. With the 200,000 dollars Mr. Jordan and the Bobcats and FOX Sports Carolinas donated to the Y Achievers program, Charlotte will produce many more successful students.

Throughout the rest of the day, I was able to witness three of my fellow Y Achievers receive a generous gift of 5,000 dollars each in scholarships from Mr. Jordan, the Bobcats and FOX. Their reactions were priceless and I am so grateful to have shared that moment with them. When the time came for me to interview Michael Jordan one-on-one, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Not many teens can say that they’ve had such an immense opportunity. Towering an entire foot and four inches taller than me, Michael Jordan looked down at me with a welcoming smile. My anxiety immediately went away and I was prepared to carry on. I asked Mr. Jordan several questions about what he feels kids should do to be successful and what his goals were. He answered honestly, and I was honored to have such an experience. If I had the choice, the day would have never ended.

I am so thankful to Matt Rochinski, Eryn Gradwell, and Brock Williams-Smith of and Ms. Mac for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Matt, Eryn, and Brock showed me how pleasant a career in media could be and made my day one to remember. Though I said it many times, THANK YOU!