Covering Kids’ Night

One nine-year-old’s perspective on Kids’ Day at The Palace

Sunday was the seventh annual Pistons’ Kids Day, giving 85 kids the opportunity to job shadow many of The Palace operations on a game day. Kids worked for an hour before the game until the end of the first quarter in nearly every part of the building – the box office, The Palace Locker Room Store and the concession stands, to name a few. Fifteen lucky look-a-likes also stood in for the Pistons’ roster and head coach Flip Saunders during the pregame introductions.

For the first time, also had a shadow. Here is 9-year-old Jack Lebenbom’s report on working for on Kids’ Day.

My name is Jack Lebenbom. I’m in fourth grade and live in Southfield. This is my third year working at Pistons Kids’ Day. I worked in Suite Services my first year and I was Flip Saunders’ look-a-like last year. This is me standing in the Pistons’ tunnel with my pass to go behind the scenes. It was pretty cool because I got to see the Pistons about to go out on the court.

I started to sit at press row to watch pregame warm-ups, but it was hard to see with all the people standing on the court. So I moved up to the seats by the bench. I saw Flip Murray shooting threes and Antonio McDyess shooting field goals. Then Rasheed Wallace came out shooting more threes and he barely missed. While I was out there I got a press release about the All-Star Game. Sheed is going! I wonder if he’s going to start.

In the middle of press row was Mason and I asked him some questions. I asked him what’s the funnest thing you’ve done and he told me, “My favorite thing is to do the lineup for the Pistons!” He also told me the most amazing thing he’s seen at a game is Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. He said he couldn’t pick the best player on the Pistons. “It’s when they play as a team. I couldn’t pick one. It’s when they all play together so well that they’re suuuperstars!”

We went to ask Greg Kelser a question but we had to wait a minute. He was looking at a screen getting ready for the game. They were really busy by the cameras. I asked him what the best thing was that he got to see in person working in television. He said the Pistons’ back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. My dad told me later I should have asked about playing with Magic Johnson. I didn’t know he played with him at Michigan State!

I wanted to learn about another job so I went to the Palace Locker Room Store. I asked the cashier what’s the most somebody has bought from the store, and he said one time somebody bought 51 pairs of socks. The Locker Room Store is a different job than Suite Services or, because you don’t have to run around a lot, you can just stay in the same place. But you don’t get to watch as much of the game.

This is the media room where all the writers write their stories. The real writers are sitting by the court so now I can work. My favorite part of the media room is that I can work here and not go outside to hear the cannon. It was really loud last year when I was on the court and I didn’t like it. I like this a lot better.

I learned it’s a lot of fun being a sportswriter but it also has some work. You’ve got to walk around a lot. And it’s pretty cool. I took a lot of pictures and everything. But for the most part it was really fun.