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My NBA Panini Rookie Card

As I turned my way up the long driveway of the MSG Training Facility to go to the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot for Panini Basketball Cards, I braced myself for all sorts of things. I had an idea of what I was going to do, either: 

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A) Walk in, realize how freakishly tall these guys are and run away.

B) Be so shocked about everything I was doing that I couldn’t speak.

C) Realize that this is my dream job that I hope to pursue for the rest of my life.

I did all of the above.

Okay, I didn’t run away screaming, but I did realize that some of the players had a good two feet on me. They were so tall, in fact, I had to stand on a chair just to interview them!

As soon as I walked in with my team (my camera man Paul, who I love, and Gary, my beloved boss), my mother and I abruptly realized what I was getting myself into. I thought to myself, “There’s no chance you’re going to be able to do this, you’re going to chicken out.” But I put that little voice in my head away for a second, and admired everything that was going on around me.

There were basketballs flying everywhere, with players dribbling, passing, and shooting them. Stations were set up for the players to be photographed. One was with smoke and cameras at every angle. Another was action shots, where a player would dunk and the camera would get a spectacular shot of the player mid-air. Also, there was a station at which the players dribbled with a camera rolling beneath them to get different angle shots. They even took some photos and made a card of me!

While that chaos was going on, players could relax and play NBA Live 10, or get interviewed by... oh I don’t know... me!

I must say, that was the coolest experience I’ve ever had, and probably will have for a while. I met tons of nice people, who work for big sports companies like the NBA and Panini. (While we’re at it, I would like to thank SI Kids, Panini, Gary, Paul, and everyone else who made this happen. You don’t know how much it means to me, and I’ll never forget it).

Most kids think it would be scary to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life when you’re only 14, but for me it’s incredible.

Check out Marissa's Q&As with Blake Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough, and the rest of the NBA's rookie class HERE and HERE!

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