CHICAGO - The South Shore Drill Team has been selected to perform at several events during the NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago.
But it's who they will get to perform with that knocked some of the members off of their feet.
Sixty members out of 200 will be featured during the All-Star weekend. They will be included in the “Rising Stars Challenge” Friday night and on Sunday, they will perform during halftime at the United Center with Chicago-native Chance the Rapper.
Takeyah Boston is 17 years old and has been on the team since she was 12. She says her most memorable time was performing at Disney World, but that nothing will top-performing on stage with Chance.
“We’re doing it with Chance the Rapper and we’re gonna’ have to go out there confident like we always do. He’s a really big celebrity and a lot of people know who he is. They look up and adore him. He’s just a big inspiration for a lot of us,” Boston said.
They will practice six hours nearly every day leading up to the big performance.
Some of the members, like 17-year-old Matthew Williams, knew something was up.
“I had a clue that something was coming. We kept practicing for a drill and we don’t practice for a drill in the wintertime, so I knew something was going on,” Williams said.
The performers range from ages 8 to 24. Right now, they have two big performances but emails are still pouring in and they could take the stage even more between February 14 and 16.
“Been holding this surprise since Thanksgiving and so every time I wanted to tell them -- the passing of Kobe Bryant -- I was going to tell them last week. So now was the time to do it,” said special events manager Stella Natufe.
It is an opportunity of a lifetime, and this group is part of history. It’s the South Shore Drill Team’s 40th anniversary.
This will be the third time the NBA All-Star Game has been played in Chicago. The last time was in 1988.