Desert Vista High School seniors Nick Garcia and Eric Dimassa have spent the regular NBA season as ball boys for the Phoenix Suns.
During the beginning of the season, the Phoenix Suns were hosting open interviews and seeking passionate fans who were serious about lending a hand during home games.
More than 100 people applied for the chance to become ball boys, and only 20 were selected for the entire-regular season, Garcia said.
Garcia and Dimassa enjoy having a steady income, but the main reason they are passionate about the job is because they grew up as fans of the game and the Suns.
“I don’t care about the money, it’s all about the job and working for the Suns,” Dimassa said. “We’re huge fans, so we go to a lot of games.”
By being able to work with the Suns players and see different NBA superstars on any given night is like living the dream, Garcia said.
“When you’re sitting on the court you can hear the refs and the players… it’s kind of surreal. It’s a completely different atmosphere than being up in the stands,” he said.
When Garcia and Dimassa are assigned a game to work they arrive at US Airways Center two hours prior to the opening tip-off, where their jobs consists of doing prep work from placing fliers on the seats to rolling up T-shirts to be thrown into the stands.
Both work alongside 15 others, who are assigned different tasks throughout the games.
It’s a lot of the physical work that doesn’t have to do with the actual game, Garcia said, some people help the players warm up, where others help with getting the game prepared.
“We work with the Game and Entertainment Team, so any halftime shows or quarter break shows we help out with that,” Garcia said. “The kids who work on the court help the players warm up for about two hours, and they’re the ones who do the sweeping.”
The 15 different workers choose where they would like to work during the game, and alternate during halftime who will work courtside.
Both Garcia’s and Dimassa’s favorite position to work is courtside because they are able to see each of their favorite players.
“Sometimes you’re not assigned to work on the court, so you’ll do anything to try to switch with someone,” Garcia said.
The two plan to continue working as ball boys throughout the season, and future seasons, with a goal of working for the organization.
“I’m definitely going to try and stay there as long as I can because a lot of people who work deep inside of the organization start as a ball boy,” Garcia said.
“I just wanted to get my name in the organization because I would love a job later on in anything,” Dimassa added.
• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.