Mentor Coach Stars Visit Chicago Bulls All Stars


Urban Initiatives Mentor Coaches Xzavier, N’Dia, Shamar, Travis, Joel and Chevaughn all experienced their first Bulls game at the United Center this season. These Mentor Coaches were chosen because of their commitment to the Work to Play teams at their school as they focused on their studies. Read below about the great time each Mentor Coach had at their first Bulls game.

Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Shamar and Travis from Jenner couldn’t be happier as they attended their first ever Bulls game with Coach Simba. Being so close to the action made Shamar and Travis feel like they were apart of the Bulls team. Shamar and Travis are great role models at Jenner and always encourage their younger teammates to try their hardest and to never give up. Since they have become great teachers in their own right, they were able to chat with Coach Simba about strategy and maneuvers Bulls players should be doing in order to be playing their hardest. They both had so much fun at the Bulls game and couldn’t wait to tell their friends about it.

Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trailblazers

N’Dia Palmore, a sixth grade Mentor Coach at Morton attended her first Bulls game with Coach Becca. N’Dia, who has two younger siblings on the Work to Play team is a great older sister and role model for the Morton soccer players. During the Bulls game Coach Becca had the pleasure of learning more about N’Dia and her interests outside of the soccer field. N’Dia is an extremely bright student who loves reading mystery novels and excelling in the classroom. As the Bulls fought to maintain a lead N’Dia showed her true Mentor Coach attitude by never giving up on the Bulls. N’Dia rooted for a comeback the entire game- she showed great faith and perseverance in the way she remained eternally optimistic about the Bulls. During the game she told Coach Becca the ways that she would encourage the Bulls if she was in charge and would tell the team to “think more about passing and teamwork and less about scoring points and winning” Coach Becca was humbled to be able to learn about these attributes of N’Dia and knew that she would have not had this opportunity if it wasn’t for the Bulls game to bring them together.

Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns

Tarkington’s Mentor Coach Xzavier was really excited when he received an invite from Coach Noah to go to his very first Bulls game. He also got to spend some time with UI’s Executive Director Jim Dower and walk around the United Center! Xzavier had so much fun watching his favorite team in action. He saw first hand how Bulls players use teamwork on the court as well as respect for their opponents, the very same lessons that Xzavier learns each week during Work to Play practice.

Chicago Bulls vs. Dallas Mavericks

Mentor Coach Joel from Prieto received the opportunity of a lifetime. Being a hard working student and dedicated Mentor Coach to the Work to Play soccer team at Prieto, Joel earned himself a ticket to his very first Bulls game. Upon entering the United Center, Joel’s smile reached ear to ear and his eye lit brightly at the sights and sounds around the stadium. Joel posed along side the world renown Michael Jordan statue along with the 6 NBA trophies the Bulls won during the 90’s.

Once it was time for tip-off Joel couldn’t believe his eyes when he first set his sights on the court. It was his first game ever and he was ready to enjoy every second of it. During the game Joel asked tons of questions but also added his own thoughts on why the Bulls were struggling to slow down the Dallas Mavericks in transition. At halftime Joel was hungry for a snack but when he made a visit to the concession stand he only encountered unhealthy food. He ask Coach Cris if there was any healthy food available because he didn’t want to eat any junk food with soccer practice the next morning. Joel and Coach Cris embarked on a journey around the United Center in search for healthy food. Right before the game would resume from intermission, a deli was discovered with healthy salads. Joel enjoyed his salad during the rest of the game as he watched the Bulls defeat the Dallas Mavericks.

Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Coach Brendan had the incredible privilege of taking one of his most senior Mentor Coaches, Chevaughn Watson, to his first Bulls game. It was actually the first Bulls’ game experience in the United Center for both Coach Brendan and Chevaughn. Chevaughn has been a consistent leader and role model on the Urban Initiatives soccer team at Reavis Elementary School, and he always tries his hardest to assist the coaches and motivate the younger players. Because of this remarkable commitment, Chevaughn earned himself a seat watching the Chicago Bulls take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Coach Brendan has seen what a smart and talented young man Chevaughn is at practice, but after talking with Chevaughn and learning much more about him at the Bulls game, Coach Brendan truly saw that he stands out amongst his peers as someone who is incredibly intelligent but also uniquely caring and generous towards others, especially for someone of his age. Chevaughn told Coach Brendan about how he likes to befriend classmates who are misunderstood by others and he believes that people need to talk more about unity and pursue it in their communities. Urban Initiatives and Coach Brendan are proud to have such a great role model on the team!

The following was written by Chevaugn after his first Bulls game:

I came home from school after a long day. My mom told me that someone wanted to talk to me on the phone, I was anxious of who was on the phone. I got a phone call from my soccer coach, Coach Brendan; I was told because of my hard work, commitment, and dedication to my soccer team and to my younger soccer players as a mentor coach, I was asked if I wanted to attend a Bulls game. I was really excited because this was my first Bulls game. At the game I had a wonderful experience as I saw Joakim Noah recorded a triple double and a couple of great plays from the Bulls players. At the end I got to see the statue of Bulls’ historic player Michael Jordan. This was a wonderful experience for my first game. I thank Coach Brendan and the Urban Initiatives team for giving me the opportunity. This was truly a wonderful experience.

Urban Initiatives, the Mentor Coaches and their families would like to send a huge THANK YOU to Beth Denicolo for donating her Bulls tickets. These Mentor Coaches now have a memory that will last a lifetime.


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