IE students experience NBA


Kailey Geiselman

A group of IE students stand in front of the famous Michael Jordan statue from the famed 1990’s team that has become a staple for Chicago history.

Emily Bauman, staff reporter

Unit 5’s Innovative Entrepreneurs is a class where students get out in the community, meet business owners and experience the business world first hand. As a special opportunity, students experienced a behind the scenes look into the United Center and NBA team the Bulls while attending a game last Wednesday.

The opportunity to tour and hear from speakers was offered to the IE class because of their association with the high school business association DECA, (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Weekly, the class is given the opportunity to meet with one or two small local businesses; moreover at the chance to attend an NBA game the class jumped at the opportunity.

Advisor Mrs. Julie Hinman said, “I’m glad to give these kids opportunities like this. IE class wasn’t a thing when I was in high school”.

On Wednesday, February 14, the class met at Normal Community High school and boarded a bus for a one day trip to Chicago. Upon reaching the city, students were given two hours to find lunch and shopping before arriving at the United Center.

Students in the class were greeted by 500 other DECA students from other Chicago arena schools.

Once at the arena, students listened to five speakers from different divisions within the daily functionings of the United Center while they explained their jobs and took questions from the group.  Speakers were: Sean Moore, Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships; Samantha Brown, Social Media Coordinator; Kevin Brilliant, Senior Manager of Data Analytics; Kim Hoefert, Ticket Executive; Kati Nelson, Manager of Youth Marketing; and Todd Abbott, Manager of Game Entertainment.

Unit 5 students Michaela Stork (12),  Jess Heib (12), Aji Muppuru (12), Addie Smith (12), Destiny Brooks (12) each asked direct questions to the speakers. Stork said, “Todd, the entertainment speaker was the most interesting. He gets to plan the games and activities during the game so I bet he gets to have a lot of fun in his daily job too”.

The class also had the opportunity before the game to take time in the sports atrium where the team store, games, restaurants and the famed Michael Jordan Statue are all located.

Before the game, students had the opportunity to sit court side while both the Bulls and their opponents, the Grizzlies, warmed up on the court. Staying to watch the the game, students enjoyed a Bulls win together, 122-110. “It was cools to see them that close; those are expensive seats that we were in. It’s better than a school day,” said IE student Evan Irwin (12). 

Now, students are back in class and continuing to work on starting independent businesses that will be showcased at the end of the year. With more opportunities, similar to the Bulls game, students are getting a once in the lifetime view into the business world.