Behind The Scenes

RISE UP Boston: Preview

Editor’s note: RISE UP presented by Real Steel, ESPN’s new original series that chronicles the renovation and rejuvenation of four high schools’ athletic facilities, continues Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Wes Welker, Danny Ainge and Lolo Jones are among the celebrities who lend a hand to rebuilding The Dorchester Education Complex in Dorchester, Mass.

BOSTON — The TechBoston Academy Bears are heading into the football season (1-1) with some much needed help.

The school, located at the Dorchester Education Complex in Dorchester, Mass., was in dire need of new athletic equipment and locker rooms, especially for the girls’ teams who didn’t have their own area.

With the help of local businesses and ESPN, the Bears received that and so much more.

During last month’s taping for ESPN RISE UP, I could feel the sense of Bears’ pride coupled with the Dorchester Bears mascot etched on the walls.

As I walked through the building, which was the former home of Dorchester High School — rivals of my high school (Boston Technical) during the 1980s, I felt like I was back in school.

So many familiar sights: the big hallways, long corridors, and — of course — the principal’s office.

Thankfully, the principal was outside with a crowd of students preparing to tape the final segment of the four-part, original series.

On the front steps of the school, adjacent to an updated track and field facility, stood co-hosts Chris Spielman and Deanne Bell.

They were joined by TechBoston Academy principal Mary Skipper, Dorchester Academy principal Kwesi Moody, Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations and former guard Danny Ainge.

The co-hosts spoke fondly about getting to know the students, calling out some of the students by name, followed by a speech by the Mayor about the RISE UP initiative.

Ainge added: “They say that the hardest arithmetic to learn is to count your blessings. You got a lot of blessings to count.”

The taping concluded with the students chanting “Bear Pride” before rushing though the “Bear Pride!” banner to take advantage of their new field.

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