This week, Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility will follow Deborah Huyler and Andrew Torres, two Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team students, as they set up wireless access points, provide network troubleshooting, and soak in the sights and sounds of NBA All-Star 2015. They’ll be sharing their stories from Madison Square Garden, the Barclays Center, and other event venues through journal entries, photo slideshows, and videos!

Read more about Andrew’s networking experiences below:

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to start my Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team experience at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. I must say — sitting courtside and watching the NBA staff organize the venue was impressive.

I never would have guessed that the different vendors and trades would work so well together. After helping the NBA’s IT team, I saw how well the operation was coordinated.

Getting ready to walk into the Barclays Center
Getting ready to walk into the Barclays Center

However, I did see what happens when staff members and other workers don’t communicate clearly. I’ve learned how important communication skills are in networking jobs, especially at major events like NBA All-Star 2015.

Our project manager, Jeff Tyler, resolved the issues quickly and allowed us to continue running cables for the NBA’s corporate communications.

My fellow team member, Aaron, had the opportunity to speak with one of the NBA’s network engineers. He explained how the NBA takes advantage of the Barclays Center’s state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure to create a secure corporate network.


Seeing the combination of two independent enterprise networks into a unique hybrid environment was something that we could only experience through this event.

I was lucky enough to take a tour of the entire Barclays Center later in the day and get a behind-the-scenes look at the arena’s layout. Our team climbed flights of stairs to the upper level seating, where we saw the tables for international commentators. Our fellow Dream Team members wired and connected the section earlier in the week!

We also learned how the Barclays Center “talks” to various broadcast trailers on the streets outside. The NBA’s IT team sends high definition video through single strands of fiber cable, which technicians in the trailers edit for international broadcasts.

My work is done for the day!
My work is done for the day!

At the end of the day, we got a sneak peak at the light show that will happen on the night of the NBA All-Star game. It was truly an amazing experience and great start to my week in the Big Apple.

Be sure to follow the #NetAcadNBA hashtag on Twitter for updates!

Read Deborah’s blog from Day 5 at NBA All-Star 2015.



Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco