Most college students have part-time jobs to help them through college, but former UTSA student David Hernandez has danced his way into a career he hopes to havefor the rest of his life.

Two years ago, Hernandez was working toward a teaching degree and wondering why he had chosen that path.

“It got to the point where I didn’t see myself being a teacher anymore. I got tired of being in the classroom all the time.”

When he landed a job on Team Energy, a loud, exciting group whose job is to get the crowd pumped at Spurs games, he thought it was just another job. Hernandez liked that Team Energy pulled slightly from his dance background, but his interest was pique when he learned that the Star Squad, the cheerleaders for the Silver Stars, was holding auditions.

“The best way to sum up Star Squad is putting Team Energy, the Silver Dancers and Game Crew all in one. Game Crew assists with the promotions on court the Silver Dancers are the entertainment of course, they cheer and dance, and Team Energy gets the crowd pumped. So, Star Squad gets to do all of that,” said Hernandez

When Hernandez first heard about Star Squad, he was unsure whether his Latin dancebackground would be enough to qualify him for the team, but he was thrilled to be chosen last summer.

For Hernandez, the Star Squad “was really fun and it was a good experience.”

After being a part of Star Squad for a while, Hernandez heard that the Game Operations Specialist, Gretchen Luistro, was looking for an assistant, and having worked alongside her while being on the Star Squad, he decided to apply.

“I really wanted to take the opportunity. I had already done the entertainment side, so I wanted to try and be part of everything else behind the scenes.”

Afew weeks later, Hernandez became the game operations assistant where he came to love the planning and organizing aspect of the job.

“We manage all the entertainment teams for Spurs Sports and Entertainment,” said Hernandez. “There’s always something going on, ordering uniforms, making sure everyone has what they need. We do game night assignments for the Silver Dancers and every team that we work with. It’s really just getting all the details and all the behind the scenes work for game nights.”

With his new job in hand, Hernandez made the decision to change his degree from education to sports and tourism management. It was an easy decision for him because he found a passion for his new job that he hadlong ago lost for teaching. “I hope to continue to work in game operations foran NBA team, whether it’s here or any other team,” said Hernandez. “I really like the atmosphere.”

For Hernandez, being a part of Team Energy was the first step towards a career he didn’t even know he wanted, but now, two years later, he is the Game Operations Assistant for Spurs Sports and Entertainment. “Just take any opportunity that you have,” said Hernandez, “through Team Energy and Star Squad it opened me upto a completely different side of work and field of work…This was something that interested me more, and I can see myself doing it longer and being happier than if I was a teacher.”

“Theremay be a lot of guys who don’t realize that we have entertainment squads thatare geared towards athletic, energetic males,” said Julie Sussler the CorporateCommunications Coordinator for Spurs Sports and Entertainment, “and they don’t think to apply because it’s the Silver Dancers out there in their pretty sequence. So, [Hernandez] is kind of the unique situation where other guys should be encouraged to come try out and get to perform on the same floor as some of the greats.”

The application deadline for this year’s Star Squad is April 3rd, applications can be found on www.sasilverstars.com/squad.

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