Working Hard Courtside

A Prep Senior Works Hard for a Great View of the Sixers

Prep senior Blaise Giacobbo has a job of which many of his fellow Hawks might be envious. The Packer Park native is a ballboy for the Philadelphia 76ers and, as they make their playoff run, his courtside spot on the floor is a pretty great vantage point to watch the team he loves.

But it is a job. For a 7 p.m. tip off, he begins at 3 p.m. right after school and goes until 11 or 11:30 p.m. It’s a long day, especially on a school night that goes from setting up the locker room and the court to rebounding for the players as they warm up, to being available for any needs to arise during the game. Blaise’s in-game responsibility is the mop; any time a player falls or anything needs to be dried on the court, he is out there. Afterwards, he joins the team in the locker room and attends to any needs that come up.

Even with the long hours, Blaise says, “I love it. I get a chance to be close to the action, meet all of the players and have them know my name.”

There are some cool stories: being there when Joel Embiid set the franchise single-game scoring record of 70 or helping new Sixer Buddy Hield move into his new apartment. Night in and night out, Blaise is sitting just in front of people who have spent thousands of dollars to secure front row tickets. “It is so cool to be able to experience it,” he says. “My family had season tickets but I can’t get any better than my seats now!”

Blaise will be heading to Saint Joseph’s University where he will study Sports Marketing. His role with the Sixers played a part in his decision to stay local. “I was originally thinking I might go someplace warm, maybe down south, but I want to see where this might lead with the Sixers,” he says, pointing out that one of his bosses started as a ball boy. 

Most of all, he appreciates the opportunity to see the NBA players, stars and role players alike, in a different light. “There are normal people, and it’s cool to see,” Blaise says. “After everything, they look at the highlights, they check social media, they text their friends. It’s really nice to get to know them in a different way.”
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