Share “NBA Finals: Army Reserves are recruited to...”

NBA Finals: Army Reserves are recruited to help NBA in Finals

A new pilot program that debuted in Oklahoma City last week and continued in Miami, Fla., placed Army Reservists with video production crews for work during the NBA Finals.
by Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: June 19, 2012
Advertisement

Army Reserve Spc. Skylard Smith had never been to an OKC Thunder game until the NBA Finals last week, when he found himself carrying cables into the Chesapeake Energy Arena for video crews and walked right by Thunder star Kevin Durant shooting baskets for practice.

Smith, 22, from Midwest City, is one of a handful of reservists who participated in a new pilot program between the Army Reserve's Employee Partnership Office and the NBA. The program debuted in Oklahoma City for the Finals and continued in Miami, Fla., with reservists there this week.

Those involved with the Army and the NBA think the new relationship has great potential. The Army Reserve's employment office helps armed forces personnel who are finishing their military commitments find work, and the NBA needed technical help for the Finals.

“It was an amazing experience,” Smith said during Game 2, when he was assigned to a video crew on standby for cable repairs. In addition to placing cable, he also helped unload equipment and set it up.

The skills these reservists developed in the military made a perfect fit for the skills the video production team needed in the arena, said Mike Ricosa, vice president of operations and engineering for the NBA.

At colleges, league recruiters were not finding enough people who wanted to do the basic work with equipment to get started in sports video production, he added.

“We were recruiting in the wrong place,” Ricosa said. “A kid right out of school is not looking at coming out and running the mobile unit or working in the rain and snow and ice and whatever. ... He thinks he's going to build the next iPad.”

But armed forces personnel are used to these conditions, especially during deployment — they work weekends, are used to setting up equipment at remote locations and know how to provide logistical support, NBA and Army officials noted.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
+ show more


We were recruiting in the wrong place. A kid right out of school is not looking at coming out and running the mobile unit or working in the rain and snow and ice and whatever. ... He thinks he's going to build the next iPad.”

Mike Ricosa

Vice president of operations and engineering for

the NBA

AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    VIDEO: Russell Westbrook throws down alley-oop dunk over ... Enes Kanter
  2. 2
    NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager's leukemia has returned, according to son
  3. 3
    Carrie Underwood Shares First Photo Of Baby Boy
  4. 4
    Who will take top honors at iHeartRadio Music Awards 2015?
  5. 5
    Reporters refuse Obama's dismissal from golf course, are sent to the 'shed' | WashingtonExaminer.com
+ show more