Andre Harris had his snow cone and was now in hot pursuit of nachos. His friends wanted to go the other direction in search of T-shirts.
But neither could stray too far down The Palace concourse - they had to wait for the girls to come back from the restroom.
It would have drove many parents to lose their cool, keeping track of 11 geeked-up kids amid the halftime bustle of a Pistons game.
But it was going to take a lot more than that to shake Shareese Enabulele, a mother of five and parent volunteer with the
Adam Butzel Recreation Center in Detroit.
“This is my first time being here to The Palace and it’s been a well-behaved group of kids,” she said. ” Everything seems to be very nice.”
Shareese was one of three parent chaperones for this outing, made possible by Crew Members who donated 1,500 tickets to the Jan. 21 and Jan. 23 games so youth groups could experience the Pistons. Despite Michigan’s economic troubles, the generosity of Crew Members made the 10th annual “Kids Night Out” every bit as fun as the first nine.
“Do we get to keep the T-shirts?” asked Shareese’s 9-year-old daughter, Lorin, who let out a resounding “Yes!” when she heard she would indeed take home her Kids Night Out T-shirt. Lorin really enjoyed her first Pistons game even though she didn’t know any of the players’ names. She liked sitting in Section 211 in the Noise Factory because she could see the entire arena. Some of her friends needed a little more time to acclimate themselves.
“I’d get a little frightened because I was sitting all the way up at the top,” said Andre, wearing a replica Rip Hamilton jersey. “But when you get up there for a while, you get used to it.”
The kids pulled on their T-shirts and went on their way to continue their Palace adventure or, in Andre's case, to find the nacho stand. With Shareese navigating them through the busy concourse, all 11 kids stayed close together. The only concern Shareese expressed was the one shared by many Pistons fans at halftime on Jan. 23, when the Dallas Mavericks held a 63-51 lead.
“Other than the normal excitement of children, they’re being really well behaved,” Shareese said. “I just wish the Pistons were defending Dallas better.”