By Rosie Langello

I saw my first-ever NBA game in person Saturday night.

I watched Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins dunk in person and cheered on as Dwyane Wade, Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls beat the Kings 102-99. Just a couple hours earlier, I stood on the same United Center court as those NBA All-Stars.

Last quarter, we were assigned to find a beat to report on. I chose Carl Schurz High School boys’ basketball in Irving Park. My beat reporting has been a great experience. The coaches and players have been very receptive towards me being there. The team let me attend their game on Saturday against Mundelein High School at the United Center prior to the Bulls game.

The Bulldogs of Schurz were number one in the White North conference after beating Mather High School the night before. I’ve reported on the team since their first game of the season, and I’ve noticed a huge improvement in their communication and skill since November.

My roommate, Allie Burger, and I arrived at the United Center at 2 p.m. and the game started an hour later. When we walked in, my jaw dropped. It was surreal! For someone who has only ever watched NBA games on TV, being on the floor and looking around was such an incredible feeling.

IMG_1482But there was no time to waste. The game started soon and I had to grab players and coaches for interviews beforehand for my assignment due Tuesday.

Thankfully, I got all the b-roll footage I needed in the first half, so during the second half, Allie and I practiced live shots in front of the camera. We made sure to make the most out of the time we had courtside. Schurz ended up winning the game, and afterward we packed up our gear and headed to a local restaurant before the Bulls game started.

While we finished our meals, we spotted a familiar face. Actress Gabrielle Union — Wade’s wife — was eating dinner at the same restaurant we were! We gave her space, and then we finished our meals and headed back to the United Center.

While not every seat in the arena was filled, the atmosphere was electric. The Schurz players and coaches also stayed for the game, and you could tell they had a great time. We did too!

Covering Chicago high school basketball has been a wonderful experience. I’m lucky to be reporting on a team that not only has immense talent, but great charisma as well.

It’s only my second quarter at Medill, and the connections that I’ve made have already led me to such remarkable experiences. I’m excited to see what court I’ll be on next!