NBA All-Star Jam Session nostalgic for Utah father

Feb 17, 2023, 10:13 PM | Updated: Feb 18, 2023, 12:25 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Five-year-old Caleb Nielsen didn’t know it, but these are moments he and his two older brothers will remember for a lifetime.

“It is all about building memories today with my boys,” said their father, Sheldon Nielsen.

Even with the crowds and the costs and the traffic to get to the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City, Nielsen figured he had to bring his boys here.

It was the NBA Crossover fan experience, where his kids could feel like a basketball All-Star while shooting, dunking, and playing some basketball.

“There is a lot to see. It is super exciting to have something like this in Salt Lake, and when it’s this close you have to take advantage of it,” he said.

His kids played lots of basketball in the Crossover’s Jam Session area.

In fact, Jam Session is back to being a part of the NBA All-Star Weekend thanks to Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith.

Smith remembers going to it when the All-Star Game was last in Salt Lake City in 1993 and he has fond memories of it.

“Everyone looks back on that and says wow, that was incredible,” said Smith during a press conference to talk about the All-Star Game. “I think if we can just replicate that, with the same experience I had, all the way through, that’s great.”

The NBA even got the old ’93 logo out of the archive for Jam Session this year.

Nielsen was five years old himself when the All-Star Game was last in Salt Lake City.

Although he doesn’t remember much about it, he does remember cheering for the Utah Jazz.

“I have been a Jazz fan ever since I can remember. John Stockton, Karl Malone, Jeff Hornacek, those were great days. Being a kid, those were the easy days, for sure,” said Nielsen with a laugh while sporting an old Stockton jersey.

He’s hoping perhaps 30 years from now, his kids Caleb, Dax, and Toren will bring their future kids to create new memories.

“I hope so. I hope so,” he said. “Hopefully they bring the All-Star Game back sooner than that.”

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NBA All-Star Jam Session nostalgic for Utah father