The annual NBA Draft is all about finding the latest and greatest basketball talent; players who will someday become the face of franchises around the league. It’s where their lifelong dreams of playing in the NBA become a reality, where years of hard work and dedication culminate in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The same could be said for a handful of Cisco Networking Academy students who worked the event, assisting professional engineers to bring the action to life. The hands-on experience helped prepare them to succeed in today’s digital economy.

Last May, six students and one instructor traveled to Brooklyn, New York for the NBA Draft Combine, where they helped connect three venues to a massive network. They used their technical skills to run cables, troubleshoot Internet outages, and provide customer support to those on the ground. Their work helped bring the NBA Combine to viewers at home and allowed them to apply the NetAcad curriculum in a real-world situation.


And in June, two more students worked the NBA Draft itself, operating behind the scenes as college players took the stage one-by-one to hear their names called. Nearly 3 million people tuned in to watch the NBA Draft on its first night, with many more tweeting their thoughts, highlighting the importance of a reliable Internet connection. NetAcad students were there to troubleshoot, ensuring media, fans, and teams never lost connection.

Like the NBA Draft for the players, the NetAcad Dream Team is a life-changing experience for students in North America. It gives them an opportunity to apply their skills under pressure, work side-by-side with industry professionals, and showcase their talent for potential employers. The NBA’s partnership with NetAcad is opening doors for students to gain real-world skills and thrive in future IT careers.

Learn more about the Cisco Networking Academy and see how you can join the program by visiting our website today!


Austin Belisle

No Longer with Cisco