280 Ball Crew Members Volunteered for the BNP Paribas Open – KESQ

While professionals from around the world compete in the BNP Paribas Open, there are two hundred and eighty members of the ball team who maintain the court.

As the announcer welcomes the players, the ball team lines up. Jared Gillespie says that he has been a member of the baseball team for six seasons.

“When you do it year after year, you almost move up the ranks; you realize more of the first and sophomores will come to you with questions,” says Jared Gillespie, a sixth-year member of the BNP Paribas Open ball team. . “And that’s something I felt a lot this year.”

Gillespie says that he grew up playing tennis. Being part of the ball team has allowed him to see some of his favorite players.

“I was lucky to be on Federer’s court when we were still making towels,” says Gillespie.

That was in 2019.

“And one of the highlights for me in my entire career as a ball boy was when I gave Roger Federer the towel.

The Swiss tennis cape he refers to is now retired, but Gillespie’s love of the game increased at this time.

Gillespie, along with 279 others, is part of this year’s dance team. Some local students also had the opportunity to experience the ball team.

“There’s a high school near here at Coachella Valley High School,” says Gillespie. “And we’ve been getting their help basically because they sent a couple of kids, who were briefly trained, and we helped them. And they help us. And, in fact, they’re almost an honorary ball team.”

A ball team president says some local students had a chance to help out during the first week of the tournament. The rest of the ball team has been training since the fall to prepare for the BNP Paribas Open.

“For example, if you’re at the net, someone might throw a ball at you,” says Gillespie. “And you should be thinking, oh, there’s a ball on that side; I need to be ready for that ball to hit the net. It’s things like that. I think that brings out the best in ball boys.”

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